His other half! Ashton PienaarHe has been engaged to his longtime girlfriend. Sarah McAlpine CooperAfter his departure from Below Deck.
On Tuesday, September 27, 32-year-old reality TV star took to social media to reflect on this personal milestone. “Over the last 5 years, my life’s journey has been really all over the place. I’ve shaken things up, put myself out there, done hard work on myself, and peeled back my layers,” he wrote via Instagram. “I followed my personal mantra of having security in the unknown, and kept faith that if I remained true to myself and put in the work, good things would come my way.”
Pienaar noted that he worked on himself to improve his future with Cooper, adding, “I did this all for the sake of establishing a better, more fulfilling life for myself… And for you @sarahmcalpine. For us.”
The ex-bosun shared his thoughts on the significant life changes in a long post. “From here on out, it’s you and me — taking on life’s challenges and succeeding together. Every day, my love and respect for your are growing. I am honored to call you my fiancé!❤️,” he concluded.
The South African native received many well-wishes and support from his fellow South Africans Below Deck stars. João Franco, who was in Below Deck Mediterranean, replied, “Congrats mate ❤️❤️.”
Meanwhile, Pienaar’s former coworker Tanner Sterback praised his progress, writing, “Congratulations my friend! I am so proud of all that you have accomplished. Much love! Yeewww.”
Below Deck Sailing Yacht‘s Ciara DugganHer support was also appreciated. Below Deck MedAlums Anastasia Surmava Kasey Cohen.
Pienaar appeared in seasons 6 and 7 of Bravo’s hit series. Later, he made headlines for his altercation and fight with chief stew Kate ChastainThe incident ended in him hitting a window inside a van. Chastain, 39, stated that she was concerned about her safety during the crew night-out.
“I was scared but also just in shock,” she explained to DeciderDecember 2019. “I was in a place where I could not have escaped if I wanted to. I played possum, and just froze and held on. Why is this? [Ashton]Is he mad? Why is he hitting windows? Why are people screaming for him to stop? What’s he gonna do? What is going on? It all kinda happened really fast.”
The Below DeckAn alum pointed out that her problems with the deck team continued through season 7. “I was working with illogical assholes. I don’t know what I could’ve done differently. I was outnumbered but also it was a very bizarre situation,” she added.
Pienaar, for his parts, offered an apology during the cast reunion that was marred by online backlash. “I was completely drunk, I was out of my mind, I’m sorry for that,” he said in February 2020. “I hate the fact that everything has been spun the way it is. But you know what, I have to take responsibility for that because I’m the one that behaved the way I did.”
The former deckhand continued: “I’m making serious changes in my life because I’m not proud of the person I saw on camera that night. And I am deeply sorry. I have wonderful relationships and friendships with all the women who are part of my life. The way everything has turned out and the way everything has turned out in the real world now and the labels I’m being labeled with, I’m extremely ashamed of.”
The costars ultimately didn’t return for future seasons of Below DeckPienaar started AP Elite as a fitness coach.