Mark Howard, the captain who led the Ionian Princess during season 1 of Below Deck Mediterranean, has passed away.
He was 65 years old.
The details behind this former realty star’s death are complex and/or still coming in as we type.
But here is what we know so far…
According to the Fernandina Beach Police Department, Captain Mark’s wife, Susan Howard, discovered her husband’s body on Wednesday, October 27 after returning home from a trip.
The official report notes that there were “blood droplets on the floor that appeared suspicious in nature” alongside Captain Mark’s corpse upstairs in the room above the garage.
The late Bravo personality had “blood coming from the area of the right side of his face” and had seemingly died several days prior, the report states.
All we can really add at the moment is that the death was unexpected and sudden, per a family friend.
Howard appeared on 13 episodes of the show’s inaugural season in 2016.
He was a respected authority figure on the popular program, always maintaining a positive attitude when it came to the patrons — yet also extremely close to all crew members.
Based on his biography on Bravo, Howarrd was a native of Michigan who had nearly 30 years of experience on boats.
He also had a pilot’s license.
Following the stunning news, Tiffany Copeland — who worked with the late captain on the Bravo series — told Us Weekly: “I just found out this morning.
The season 1 stew learned about Howard’s passing from ex-cast member Brian Kattenburg.
“They were still close,” Tiffany said about the first officer’s bond with Captain Mark.
She also tweeted the following: “RIP Captain Mark Howard. You were a joy to be around."
Dave Quinn, the author of Not All Diamonds and Rosé, also confirmed the tragedy, tweeting on Friday:
“Sad news, Bravo fans. Captain Mark Howard — BELOW DECK MEDITERRANEAN’s season 1 captain — died on Thursday. May he RIP. #BelowDeckMed."
Below Deck Mediterranean is a major cable network hit, currently airing its sxth season..
The yachts featured on the show range from $140,000 to $300,000 per week, while Captain Sandy Yawn is now one of the main faces of the show, with an ever-growing presence on social media.
Ahead of his small screen debut, Mark opened up about his experience working on season 1 of Below Deck Mediterranean.
“There’s more experience involved here,” he said during an interview with Entertainment Tonight in May 2016.
“This is the pinnacle of charter yacht operation and the best of the best people go to the Med. We had some newbies, but we had a lot of experience as well.
"That really made a big difference in what we were able to do and the service we were able to provide for the charter clients.”
“Our thoughts and sincerest sympathies are with the family and friends of the respected Captain Mark Howard,” Bravo wrote in a statement on Friday.
“As the captain of the first season of Below Deck Med, he will always be remembered for his many contributions and mentorship and will forever remain part of the Bravo family.”
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Mark Howard.
May he rest in peace.