Windsor native and naval officer dies in Tanzania; remembered as 'gentle giant'
A Windsor native, and Canadian Armed Forces member died Monday in a Tanzanian hospital.
CTV News has learned that Canadian sailor Brandon South died while off-duty in Tanzania. The National Department of Defence says the crewman was en route to Canada for a scheduled leave from the ship.
His mother Wendy is now mourning the loss of her son. The last note she received from South read, “Thinking of you always. I’ll call you soon. Mwah.”
The 36-year-old father of two lived in British Columbia with his wife. Wendy says South was looking forward to reuniting with his family.
“He was so happy to be coming home and see his family, and he didn’t make it,” she says.
“He was a gentle giant full of love, and life, and fun,” South’s sister Shannon Trudelle says. “He was amazing.”
South served on the HMCS Regina, which is currently sailing in the Indian Ocean. He was a Leading Seaman, working as a sonar operator.
“I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Leading Seaman South. His presence will be dearly missed by all the ship’s company of HMCS Regina,” said Cmdr. Daniel Charlebois, commanding officer of the HMCS Regina.
The Canadian Military Police are now working with authorities in Dar Es Salaam, as officials continue to investigate the circumstance surrounding his death.
South’s remains will be brought back to Canada once the investigation and the autopsy are complete.
CTV Windsor’s Sacha Long will have more reaction from South’s family tonight at 6 p.m.