We have some very sad news to report for fans of Below Deck: Mediterranean as Captain Mark Howard has reportedly passed away.
Season 1 third stew Tiffany Copeland broke the news on twitter moments ago. “RIP Captain Mark Howard. You were a joy to be around,” Tiffany tweeted, adding a two-heart emoji. The tweet included photos of Tiffany with Mark Howard:
RIP Captain Mark Howard.
You were a joy to be around 💕 pic.twitter.com/ehbouzK5uS
— Tiffany Copeland (@NautiYachty) October 29, 2021
Tiffany followed up her initial tweet and revealed that she doesn’t have any additional information other that Captain Mark died on October 28. “I don’t have many details at this time,” she wrote, “but he passed away yesterday.”
Below Deck Med Season 1 charter guest Kathy Stover responded by tweeting: “I am so saddened to hear of Captain Mark Howard’s passing. He was very kind. ❤️🙏”
I’ve been unable to confirm Captain Mark’s passing via other sources, but I will continue to check for an official statement from family or Bravo.
UPDATE – Multiple news outlets have since confirmed Captain Mark’s passing. From TMZ:
Howard died in Florida at some point in the last week, a family friend says his death was sudden and occurred while he was at home. We do not currently know any other circumstances surrounding his death.
UPDATE – Some of the Below Deck cast members have posted about Captain Mark’s passing. I will add them below.
JULIA D’ALBERT PUSEY: What sad news to hear of Mark’s passing, my thoughts are with his family & friends 💞🙏
HANNAH FERRIER: Rest In Peace my friend. You were a great captain, friend and colleague. Always the gentleman 💗 You will be missed
@BELOWDECKBRAVO ON INSTAGRAM: Our thoughts and sincerest sympathies are with the family and friends of the respected Captain Mark Howard. 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.
CAPTAIN SANDY YAWN: Such sad news. When I met him, I felt such a kindness. GodSpeed Captain Mark 💔
Since his appearance on the first season of Below Deck: Med, Captain Mark Howard has kept a very low online profile. Hannah Ferrier was asked if she kept in touch with Captain Mark in a 2019 interview with The Daily Dish.
“Captain Mark and I, we send a message maybe once a year, just to touch base,” Hannah said at the time. “I really like him.”
Despite being in contact with Captain Mark, Hannah couldn’t share any information on what he has been up to since filming season 1. “I don’t really think I knew what he was up to when I was working with him, let alone three years later,” Hannah said with a laugh. “He was like the opposite of [Captain Sandy Yawn]. He kind of drove the boat and stayed in his cabin, so it was lovely.”
If you’re curious to know a little bit more about Captain Mark Howard’s background, here are a couple of his bios — the first from Bravo, and the second from the yacht Huntress that he was previously the captain of:
Born and raised on a lake in Michigan, Captain Mark Howard has been a yacht captain for almost 30 years, with international experience ranging from sailing the South Pacific to the Mediterranean and Caribbean on both private and charter boats. Mark also has his pilot license and enjoys flying helicopters as a hobby. While he is always approachable and supportive of his crew, Mark demands professionalism and finds it important to be hands on in all aspects of the yacht’s operation. His advice to aspiring yachties is to be honest, work hard and pay attention to senior crew members while never forgetting the golden rule of yachting: “the guest is always right.”
Mark is originally from Michigan where he grew up sailing on the Lakes. After moving to Santa Barbara, California where he obtained his Business Degree, he then attended the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Academy followed by 10 years at the Santa Barbara Harbor Police, the last five as Commanding Officer. For the past 15 years he has focused his marine career on the operation and construction of large motor yachts. Mark and his wife Susan have entertained guests aboard various well know yachts in exotic locations such as the South Pacific & New Zealand, Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize & Alaska, as well as having extensive knowledge of the Mediterranean, U.S. Coast and the Caribbean. He holds Master Merchant Marine licenses from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.K., and the Cayman Islands, in addition to a Helicopter Pilots License.
Mark takes great pride in Huntress and her crew, and is always looking for new ways to improve the guests’ enjoyment aboard and the treasured memories they take with them.