Below Deck's Captain Sandy's heartfelt tribute after death of brother: 'Heart is hurting'

Captain Sandy Yawn is well renowned for her commanding presence on Bravo’s hit yachting series Below Deck. While she has gained respect as one of the few women captains in the industry, fans recently saw a different side of her personality when she opened up about her brother’s passing.

Taking to Instagram, Captain Sandy posted a throwback childhood photo and then a more recent snap of her and her brother.

In the caption, she wrote a heartfelt message, which read: “Today I lost my brother @ 55 years young. My heart is hurting for our family, his children and his wife.

“I had the best time with him as a youngster, we rode stick horses together, played Simon Says, played with Tonka Toys, acted like we were Huckleberry Fin & Tom Sawyer and would ride our horses through the woods like we were explorers.

“He was a gentle soul, so kind and generous. I’m so glad we reunited after many years of not seeing each other and I’m grateful that I got to experience his happiness and joy. I love you brother. God speed and RIP.”

READ MORE: Emmerdale exit for Ryan Stocks as deadly secret exposed?

While it’s not a common occurrence for Bravo’s crew members to open up about their personal lives, it’s admirable Sandy let fans into her family life.

The captain herself has gone through a whole host of difficulties and challenges which she briefly spoke about on the show.

She also lived up to her nickname of ‘Bada*** Captain’ for the number of battles she’s fought through as well as her commendable perseverance.

A few years before she joined the show, Sandy was involved in a motorcycle accident and during her scans, doctors discovered a tumour in her kidneys.

It was revealed to be a malignant tumour, which turned out to be stage II kidney cancer and was subsequently removed.

The procedure was performed by Dr Martinis whose appearance as a charter guest revealed the Captain undergoes kidney scans each year to ensure there are no signs of cancer.

Sandy also overcame a drinking and drug addiction, as she recently celebrated being 33-years sober.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Sandy revealed she saw Below Deck as an opportunity to give back: “I just felt like God was using me. I said, ‘Okay, dude, whatever you want me to do. I feel like you saved my life so many times, I’ve got to pay you back.’”

Below Deck Mediterranean seasons 1-6 are available to stream on Bravo.