By Shelley Marsden
Tributes have been made to an Irishman who drowned on Friday night at Darling Harbour in Sydney.
Friends and family of Brendan Hickey, 34, who died after falling into Cockle Bay Wharf in full view of his friends during the Vivid Sydney light show, called him a fun-loving person who was “ever smiling”.
Despite the desperate efforts of his girlfriend Julia Szymanska and friends who dived in and tried and save him, his body had already sunk too deep below the surface.
Mr Hickey’s body was found on the ocean floor some three metres away from an unfenced boardwalk about 1.30am on Saturday morning.
Brendan was living in Randwick at the time and one of his many friends who has expressed her shock is Fiona Syombua who said: “I cannot believe this sad news. Brendan Hickey very happy, ever smiling. gone too soon. I will always live to remember you. my heart is in deep mourn right now”.
Water police Acting Superintendent Joe McNulty said he did not believe Mr Hickey’s death was the malicious, and described it as a very rare and tragic incident.
He added that police had been talking to witnesses on Saturday to find out whether he had been pushed or slipped. They were also looking at whether alcohol had played a part.