Friends remember St. John's student following Canada Day drowning

·3 min read
Mason House, left, is remembering his friend Natasha Gosho as someone a kind soul who loved the energy that came with life. (Submitted by Mason House - image credit)
Mason House, left, is remembering his friend Natasha Gosho as someone a kind soul who loved the energy that came with life. (Submitted by Mason House - image credit)
Submitted by Mason House
Submitted by Mason House

Two St. John's students are remembering their friend as a kind soul who loved the energy of life, and are thankful for the support of strangers following her drowning death in St. John's over the weekend.

Alex Rebelo and Mason House only knew Natasha Gosho for a short time, but quickly connected with her when she came to Newfoundland and Labrador in May.

"I only knew her for a few months, but in that time frame I just connected with her so well," Rebelo told CBC News Monday. "That's just the kind of person she was. She was so warm and friendly, kind and just beautiful."

The group were celebrating Gosho's first Canada Day with a day on the water at Rotary Sunshine Park on Friday. The day took a dramatic turn at around 5 p.m., when Rebelo said Gosho fell out of a pool float and didn't resurface.

Gosho's body was pulled from the water on Saturday morning by a search and rescue team, and a police investigation into her death is continuing.

"[Friday] felt like an eternity, even though from start to finish it probably lasted like three, four minutes," Rebelo said. "Please wear your life jackets. All it takes is a few minutes or a few seconds for things to go awry like it did for us."

House, Gosho's roommate, said the young woman was drawn to the province from South Africa to study the sciences, pursuing "the North American dream" with the goal of becoming a pharmacist.

He says Gosho loved the province and its people, but wasn't always keen on the island's signature weather.

"She always said it was cold here," House said with a laugh. "And she said the people here were so nice and friendly.... Here, she felt so welcomed by everybody."

House and Rebelo say they've felt that kindness from people all across the province in the days since her death. House has created a GoFundMe page in her name to help her family and raise funds to bring her body back to South Africa.

Their efforts have raised almost $17,000 as of Monday afternoon.

The pair are also thanking the strangers who Rebelo said helped them through the emotional trauma and even made efforts to save Gosho immediately following the accident.

"It's brought us a lot of peace," Rebelo said.

"They didn't even know her, and her family are really overwhelmed by the support," House added.

Garrett Barry/CBC
Garrett Barry/CBC

The pair say they'll remember Gosho for her positivity, kindness, friendship and her warmth and confidence to be open to try new things — something House says he will cherish about their friendship.

"She used to get up and dance, and every morning she'd get up and sing in the apartment…. And I like to sing too, but not in front of people," he said.

"I'm going to have to learn how to do it. You just got to not care. You just have to live. I'm so glad she did that, I have so much to remember her by."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting