Former Alexandria resident drowns in FloridaA former Alexandria resident died in an apparent drowning near Daytona Beach, Florida last Thursday, June 16.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
A former Alexandria resident died in an apparent drowning near Daytona Beach, Florida last Thursday, June 16.
Mark Howe, 52, was wading into the ocean with two friends when he stumbled, fell and drowned in knee to waist-deep water.
He was pronounced dead about an hour later, according to a story printed in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
The incident happened near the Zelda Boulevard beach approach in Daytona Beach. Beach Patrol Captain Tammy Marris told the News-Journal that when Howe's friends saw him fall, they tried in vain to save him.
"They turned around, he kind of stumbled and fell, and he didn't come back up, and his friend dragged him to shore," Marris said. "When we arrived on scene, the patient had no vitals."
It was unclear what factors led to the drowning. The Beach Patrol was waiting to receive Howe's medical history to determine if he might have had a medical issue before he fell.
Howe had been living in Alexandria for the past three years before moving to Florida with friends about three weeks ago.
He was staying with Ron and Tami (“Ms. Kitty”) Sheets at their home, located across from the beach.
“He loved the beach,” Tami Sheets said in a phone interview with the Echo Press Monday. “Every day, he’d say, ‘Take me to the beach, take me to the beach.’ And that turned out to be the last place he went.”
Howe had just landed a job with a lawn maintenance/scrap metal company and was enjoying his new Florida surroundings, Sheets added.
“He was fascinated with palm trees and loved picking up shells and starfish,” she said.
Howe was “very kind, loved by all, and had a heart of gold,” Sheets said.
Sheets said that Howe is survived by a daughter, Emily, a son, Troy, and a granddaughter.
Services will be held Thursday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Life Right Outreach, 1906 6th Avenue East, Alexandria.