"Below Deck" Star's Son Dies Of Overdose After 20-Year Addiction Battle

By Lindsey Weedston 08/01/19

“We loved Josh unconditionally and were proud of the man he had become in spite of his problems,” the Below Deck star wrote about his son.

"Below Deck" Star's Son Joshua
Photo via Instagram

Tragedy struck the family of one of the recurring stars of Bravo’s nautical reality series Below Deck when a family member died of a drug overdose. Captain Lee Rosbach posted a tribute to his youngest son, Joshua, on his Instagram page, saying that he “finally succumbed to the demons he fought so long and so hard” for 20 years at the age of 42.

According to People, the overdose was accidental.

“We loved Josh unconditionally and were proud of the man he had become in spite of his problems,” Rosbach wrote. “There was no one I ever knew who gave more of himself to those in his life. He loved with all his being without expecting anything in return. We both feel a hole in our souls that will never be filled.”

An obituary for Joshua was posted on the Dignity Memorial website, which confirms that he died on July 22. The text says that he passed in his own home and, like his father, enjoyed sailing and spending time with his family and his dog Champ.

The memorial service was held on July 27th, and his family has asked for donations to the Humane Society of Broward County in place of flowers.

The Captain Talks Addiction

In addition to celebrating his son’s life, Captain Lee Rosbach spoke on the devastating effects of addiction and how it can impact anyone, regardless of wealth or lifestyle.

“Addiction is an insidious disease that knows no social status or geographic boundaries,” he said. “Whether you live in a 10,000 sq. ft. mansion or a double wide trailer, the path of death, destruction and devastation it leaves remains the same.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), overdose death rates have been steadily rising since 1999. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 70,237 people died of an overdose involving any drug in 2017.

More than half of these deaths involved opioids as the opioid crisis has worsened year after year, though deaths from overdose involving methamphetamine and cocaine have also increased, with significant jumps in 2016 and 2017. 

“So my message to those of you who are fighting this disease, find a way to get help no matter what,” Rosbach concluded in his Instagram post. “For those of you who have a friend, family member, son, or daughter who's struggling, do what ever it takes to get them the help they need. Be kind and loving, and try to enjoy every second you have with them.”

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Lindsey Weedston is a Seattle area writer focused on mental health and addiction, politics, human rights, and various social issues. Her work has appeared in The Establishment, Ravishly, ThinkProgress, Little Things, Yes! Magazine, and others. You can find her daily writings at NotSorryFeminism.com. Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindseyWeedston