Below Deck Med: The Heartbreaking Death Of Malia White's Brother

When you take reality TV onto the high seas, the waters can quickly become choppy. Malia White from "Below Deck" knows that only too well, with a trail of theatricals, tantrums, and tears in her wake. Still, it was when the cameras stopped rolling that Malia felt the most turbulence following the tragic death of her big brother, Jay White.

Malia had more than her fair share of dramatic storylines during her years on the hit show. Per Bravo, she first appeared on the second installment of "Below Deck Mediterranean" as a deckhand. Malia's complicated relationship with Captain Sandy loomed large throughout the season, and the two women have butted heads often over the years. Still, things became explosive after Captain Sandy shared her assumptions about her employee's sexuality. "Malia ... I think she's secretly gay, to be honest. That's my opinion. Everybody in production thinks that," she said in a Cameo video. Captain Sandy walked her conjecture back following a storm of criticism. "I was wrong for making that comment; that clip was taken out of context; it was sliced to make it into something it was not. My apologies to Malia!" She said in an Instagram statement.

Malia took a break from the waves for a couple of years. She returned to the screens as a bosun in Season 5, which featured Malia and Tom Checkett's rollercoaster romance. That ended shortly after filming wrapped. Still, the anguish continued for Malia, culminating in the heartbreaking death of her brother in October 2023.

Malia White hopes her brother's death will help others

"Below Deck Mediterranean" star Malia White was left devastated following her older sibling's death in 2023. "To everyone who knew our brother, Jay, it's with a heavy heart we announce the sad news of his death Thursday, October 5th," she posted on Instagram, along with an adorable selfie of herself and Jay when they were kids. "Jayseph (34) passed away in the middle of the night after a battle with addiction."

Malia shared that Jay was outdoorsy and loved to fish and hang out with his dog. "He was truly a kind soul, willing to help anyone at a moment's notice," she wrote. Malia was flooded with support from fans and coworkers. "Everyone has been very sweet about it, and my cast rallied around me, which is nice," she told People in November 2023.

Malia said she hoped that others would be helped by her going public with her brother's battle against substance use disorder. "It's shocking how many families and people are dealing with addiction. So that's the one thing I can take from it," she said. "If we can all just be there for each other — really be there — I think it would solve a lot of problems."

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Malia's finding her land legs

Malia White bid farewell to "Below Deck Mediterranean" at the end of Season 6. Still, she's not ready to hang up her sea spurs anytime soon. According to Bravo, Malia headed straight to school following her exit to study for her officer's exam at the Maritime Professional Training in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As it so happened, she bumped into an old friend while she was there. "Keeping up our certifications and advancing our maritime careers!" Captain Sandy posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, in April 2022.

Malia shared that she's kept a porthole open for a possible return to the Bravo decks. "I haven't left. It's not that I might never come back to the show," she told Showbiz Cheatsheet in May 2022. "I'm just not on the next season. I got in a really bad scooter accident. And I'm studying for this big [exam], so it's just a good time for me to take a break and take a step back."

Malia's break was over in October 2023 when she went from ship shape to landlocked, starring in Season 3 of Bravo's "Winter House" along with fellow yachtie Katie Flood. Captain Sandy visited with her fiancée Leah Shafer, and the ladies took to the slopes together. "Captain Sandy, she can hold her own," Malia said of her ex-boss' ski game. Meanwhile, the former bosun sent social media into a tailspin when she posted a photo of herself kissing a mystery man on February 4.