Headline — 30 June 2015 — by Adele Ramos
Mark Swaso, 39, found dead off South Water Caye

SOUTH WATER CAYE, Stann Creek District, Mon. June 29, 2015–A Sunday afternoon fishing outing ended tragically for a Dangriga man who works on South Water Caye as a tour guide with International Zoological Expeditions (IZE). Friends and relatives learned on Sunday afternoon that Mark Swaso, 39, also known as “Karm,” was missing and after several hours searching for him, recovered his body near the island around midday today. His body was returned to Dangriga close to 5 o’clock this evening.

His wife, Trudy Joseph Swaso, said that Mark, who loved to fish in his free time and who would usually go alone on such trips, had gone on his kayak to fish near South Water Caye on Sunday, and they found out after 2:00 p.m., when he didn’t show up to take his guests snorkeling, that he was missing.

Vonetta Dawson, Swaso’s relative, told Amandala that Swaso had gone to fish at about 1:00 p.m., and when she was asked if weather could have been a factor in his disappearance, she noted that the weather was fine. She also said that Swaso was a very good swimmer. His wife also mentioned that Mark was in good health.

Dawson said that the a resort of Hopkins called on Sunday saying that they had found one of the kayaks from IZE’s South Water Caye Lodge, with which Swaso worked.

Trudy Swaso said that someone had found the kayak and taken it into Hopkins, but strangely, Mark’s bucket with his tackle and line were found intact. She believes that had the kayak capsized, the bucket would also have overturned.

In the frantic search to find Mark Swaso, a team of his relatives and friends first found his pants, and then found his body, with visible facial scars right above his eyes, very near to where the kayak had anchored.

Swaso says her husband could have been hit, but she cannot say that it was the boat from Hopkins, which took ashore the kayak, that possibly hit him.

The team of Swaso’s family and friends which had been looking for him, had searched until midnight, and started again at 5:00 this morning.

“I am grateful that they found him. We were thinking all kinds of things. I really wanted that they found him alive … I have an uncle that died at sea but they never found his body, and the family still does not have closure,” Swaso told us.

Swaso said that she and her husband share four children, but only the eldest, who is 17, knows what has transpired. They have yet to break the sad news to the other 3 children.

Trudy says that her husband was an extremely jovial person and he would not have wanted his loved ones to be saddened by his death. While she is dismayed by the loss of her husband, she is glad that he was doing something he loved at the time of his passing.

The cause of Swaso’s death has not yet been ascertained, and a post-mortem exam on his body is pending.

Relatives of Swaso plan to hold a wake on Friday night at his mom’s house, located at #25 Polack Street in Dangriga. Funeral services are slated for Saturday at Faith Assembly of God in Dangriga.

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