Mitchell Guist died ‘doing what he loved’
Ascension Parish resident Mitchell Guist, a star of the popular History Channel television show “Swamp People,” died Monday after collapsing in his boat in St. Martin Parish, authorities and family members said.
“He’d been building on a house boat. He had just put it in the water this morning and was pushing it. That’s when he went down,” said Guist’s brother, Glenn, who also co-stars on the show.
“I don’t know if it was a seizure or a heart attack. They’re doing an autopsy, we just don’t know yet,” Guist said.
Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said Guist and a Pierre Part man left the Belle River Boat Landing in St. Martin Parish on Monday morning to work on a camp in the Atchafalaya Basin when he fell in the boat.
The men returned to the boat launch where “he started to receive medical attention,” Waguespack said.
Mitchell Guist was pronounced dead on arrival at 9 a.m. at Teche Regional Medical Center in Morgan City, said Jenny Higgins, a spokeswoman for the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“I still can’t believe it,” Glenn Guist said. “He was considered the baby of the family. I just can’t believe it. He was as healthy as a horse.”
Mitchell, 47, was four days away from celebrating his 48th birthday, his brother said.
As fans of the show know, the brothers were close, as was the entire family, Glenn Guist said.
The loss will be hard on all of them, Glenn Guist said. “He was just a lovable guy,” the brother said.
The History Channel program, which airs at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, highlights Cajun culture and cooking and wildlife and fisheries in Louisiana, especially in the Atchafalaya Basin. A website linked to the program also offers fans the chance to buy DVDs, T-shirts and other apparel and other related merchandise.
According to the website, the brothers were born, reared and still live in the family home on Conway Bayou.
Those who worked with the brothers at the History Channel were in shock, as well, said Vicky Kahn, spokeswoman for “Swamp People.”
“Mitchell passed on the swamp, doing what he loved,” Kahn said in a statement. “We appreciate your respect for the Guist family’s privacy and hope you join us in sending our thoughts and prayers to his brother, Glenn, and the rest of the Guist family.”
Arrangements for Guist are still pending, family members said.
Advocate staff writer
contributed to this report.