A British father-of-two has tragically drowned while snorkelling in the Caribbean just hours before he was due to fly home to his family.
Mark Crick, 47, was on an environmental field trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands when he told friends he was going snorkelling before catching a flight home.
However, his body was discovered floating in the sea later the same day and he was pronounced dead in hospital. A post-mortem examination revealed he drowned.
The experienced botanist, who lived in Stamford, Lincs,. is survived by his wife, Helga, 44, and sons Ben, 14, and Tom, nine.
Helga said: ”Mark was our best friend. He was a very modest man but he was passionate about all that he did.
”I spoke to him on the Saturday morning. I hadn’t expected to hear from Mark until he got home, but instead of my husband the knock on the door came from a policeman.
”It was a complete shock. It’s very sad for all of us but we are trying to stay positive and celebrate his life.
”Ben has been the man of the house for the past two weeks. He has mowed the lawn and asked me if he needs to learn how to use a drill.
”Tom takes after his dad’s love of nature”
Mark tragically drowned on March 26 this year on the final day of a week-long trip to the Caribbean with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
His body was discovered floating in the sea to the north of the main town on the island of Providenciales.
Tributes from friends and former work colleagues have flooded in on Mark’s Facebook page.
Gail Parker, who worked with Mark, said: ”A lovely, lovely man and i’m so glad he went on to spread his knowledge and enthusiasm.
”He was so proud of his family, always hold that close to your hearts. Wishing you peace and many happy memories.” (sic)
A spokesperson for Turks and Caicos police said the death was not suspicious and the island’s coroner has confirmed death by drowning.