On Monday night’s premiere, after the boat’s Officer of the Watch scanned each of the crew members’ documents, Sandy learned Ruan’s paperwork was potentially inaccurate.
“In this port — because it is so highly regulated — an MCA officer can board the vessel at any time and it is all about a safe operation of the vessel. From life rafts to certificates that we have to hold,” she explained in a confessional on September 25 episode, via Us Weekly.
According to the officer, Ruan’s medical license was “not certified.”
“These are all photocopies of a certified copy,” the officer explained to Sandy and Ruan. “You should always have the originals. The boat can be detained for that. … On a private boat it is fine. On a commercial yacht, it’s a bit more strict.”
While Ruan insisted his documents were legitimate, he didn’t bring the originals with him.
“I left them in a safe at home so I made certified copies at the police station. I can try to get them sent here,” he revealed.
In response, Sandy asked they be shipped immediately as she remained on the dock and attempted to resolve the situation.
“That is not OK. We are in a bind. For the MCA officer, he wants originals. There’s a reason why [he wants them], you can’t forge an original,” she explained to the camera.
Then, as Ruan attempted to get his documents sent to the boat, another call came into Sandy from the Port Authority, who raised questions about Ruan’s possibly forged Yachtmasters.
Growing increasingly concerned, Sandy scanned the document, and another person’s photo was revealed.
“You have got to be freaking kidding me. This is someone else’s picture on Ruan’s certificate. This is major, this is like a whole different level. This is not OK,” she noted. “The entire vessel could be arrested because of one crew member.”
When Sandy confronted Ruan about the document, he claimed to have gotten it on a boat in Monaco. But his explanation was a “big red flag” for Sandy, who revealed that is not how the process works, stating that you have to “go to class” to be certified.
“On one of the boats because the ticket expired, we needed to get a ticket done quickly. A guy came on the boat and he issued us our tickets,” he replied. “I have been on boats for three years with that same ticket and I swear to God the last thing on my mind is that the ticket was false.”
Although Sandy was worried, she told Ruan that if he was able to produce the proper documents, he’d be able to return to his role leading the team.
“I am a factual person. I am seeing what I see — this is a problem. Sometimes mistakes happen, however, I am kind of thinking this isn’t the case here,” she shared in a confessional. “Regardless this is really bad and I am in a horrible situation having to start the first charter without a chief stew and now a bosun.”
As for Ruan, he contacted Sandy by phone later in the episode to inform her he would not be coming back.
“Sorry about this captain but I don’t think I am going to get the ticket sorted in time. I don’t want to hold the vessel up any longer, I am just going to go back home and I don’t think I am going to come back,” he told her. “I am kind of just deciding to just call it quits and just head back to South Africa. I am just going to go back home and sort out what I need to sort out.”
Below Deck Mediterranean season eight airs on Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo.