Close this search box.

João Franco Defends Malia White Following ‘Below Deck Mediterranean’ Backlash, Cites Maritime Law Around Prescription Drug Use

Captain Sandy jumped in to agree with her former co-star.

Malia has been accused of not handling Hannah Ferrier’s panic attack appropriately on the most recent episode of the Bravo hit.

Former Below Deck Mediterranean star João Franco is defending Malia White following this week’s dramatic episode—and citing maritime law around prescription drugs, while he’s at it.

“There are many ways of handling situations like these onboard but for all those who have asked and are interested in the maritime law regarding prescription drugs onboard, look up MGN 292 or regulations in the #maritimelabourconvention,” he posted, clearly taking up for Malia.

João attached a photo of what appears to be the Maritime Labour Convention code around prescription drug use, which is a hot topic among Bravo fans after this week’s episode.

Hannah Ferrier, who stars on the show with Malia, reportedly uses prescription drugs to deal with anxiety. Malia, for her part, criticized this on both this week’s episode and in some comments on her Instagram page.

Malia responds to the backlash

Malia is probably thankful to have João support, as she has clearly noticed a backlash brewing at least some Below Deck Mediterranean viewers. Taking to Instagram, she attempted to defend herself and also cited maritime law surrounding prescription drug use.

“Let me clear the air,” she posted. “Medical laws are different at sea and for good reason. NO crew member is allowed to self- administer drugs prescription or not while on a vessel at sea. We are CREW and always ‘on duty’ and our primary goal at sea is to ensure safety of all passengers.”

“Mental health issues are a big deal and that’s why we have proper procedures in place,” she continued. “We all read & sign a drugs & alcohol policy before joining any boat- this is VERY CLEARLY laid out. If any crew member suffers from a mental health condition that they require medication for they must disclose that to the Captain BEFORE signing onto the boat. They then under the supervision of Captain or Officer can be given medication as needed and evaluated to see if they can still stand duty.”

She explained, “While at sea the Captain is the medical person in charge- any and all medical decisions MUST go through them. Taking any sedative while on duty is completely illegal and could cost myself, the officers and Captain Sandy all of our licensing. Not to mention possible jail time and fines if an incident occurred & a crew member was found to have been on something without authorization.”

“Reporting any incident especially one we witness is all of our job,” continued Malia. “Yachting is my career- I’m not here to worry about plot twists & TV drama- I’m here to do my job and learn how to become a Captain.”

“Maritime laws are in place for a reason. All of you expressing your hate- think of it in this perspective… if an emergency was to take place in the middle of the night how would you feel if your crew (the people trained to handle the situation & keep you safe) were on drugs?” she pointed out. “There are terribly sad stories of crew losing their lives or accidents happening due to unsupervised drug use. The severity of it is why it has become Maritime Law. It’s there to protect both crew & passengers. Reporting someone shouldn’t have a negative stigma – it can save lives!”

The drama continues

It doesn’t look like the drama will be slowing down any time soon, because in addition to João Francoas Captain Sandy Yawn and Hannah have both responded to the discussion around the episode in recent days.

Taking to our Instagram comments, Hannah revealed that she doesn’t actually consider Malia’s apology an apology.

“Is it a direct apology if it’s via your own instagram??” she asked.

Captain Sandy, for her part, seems to be on Team Malia after she jumped on João Franco’s post to agree.

“It’s maritime law not a personal choice,” she posted.

This sounds like one of those cast disagreements that only Andy Cohen can referee. Reunion time, anyone?

Below Deck Mediterranean airs Mondays on Bravo and Slice.

Follow Us




Listen on Apple Podcasts

Share this post