Death leaves hole in hearts
A FISHING trip almost turned fatal for three men forced to cling to their sunken boat off the Port Douglas coastline.
Kewarra Beach fisherman Joe Walters had planned to do an “overnighter” with friend Tony Rickhuss and his 32-year-old son Luke Rickhuss when their 30-foot powerboat started taking on water off Tongue Reef, about 50km east of Port Douglas, about 4.45pm on Sunday.
“We fished for about half-an-hour and hadn’t caught anything so we decided we would shift and when I went to the back of the boat I saw it was sitting quite low and water was coming in so I knew there was a bit of a problem,” Mr Walters said.
“We started to pull up the anchor to motor off to shore but once we had retrieved the anchor within 30 seconds the boat just rolled over and capsized.”
The men desperately grabbed life jackets, triggered the EPIRB (Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon) and held a mobile phone over water to call 000.
Quick-thinking Luke managed to grab his phone and speak to the Coastguard while sitting on the sinking bow. He scratched the trio’s position into the boat THE local business community has been left with a hole in its heart with the sudden death of a much-loved real estate identity. Christopher Stuart Harvey
aged 51, died suddenly at his Port Douglas home on Saturday night following doing what he loved most - enjoying a barbecue with his close friends and family.
He and wife Janet moved back to the Douglas region late last year to resume a love affair with the town where they first met.Chris first came to Port Douglas as a teenager on holidays with his family and quickly fell in love with not just the town, but his future wife Janet.
After years as sweethearts at university in Townville, the pair married and moved to Melbourne where Chris worked as a chartered accountant for several years. But it wasn’t long before the lure of Port Douglas drew the couple back north, where Chris began a long career in real estate.
After starting out with Ross Cavallaro, Chris went out on his own with Harvey Real Estate which later became a First National franchise.
Janet was involved in running the business in between raising young sons Nick and James and the couple merged the franchise with LJ Hooker.
After many years, the family returned to the cooler southern climes where Chris’ parents and sister lived and he could indulge in his love for skiing, moving to Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands and then Sydney.
Janet said yesterday that after 12 years away they were loving their new life back in Port Douglas, where Chris was working at Raine & Horne and Janet had started a new business in interior design.
“It felt like coming home to be among our family and such familiar territory and faces,” she said.
“And Chris was loving being ’back in the game’ with the boys at Raine & Horne as manager.
“There is no husband more loving and caring, no father a greater supporter of his sons Nicholas nad James.
“An animal lover, a fine car tragic, a joker and a gentleman of honour - this is the Chris we know and love.”
Good friend Bernt Berentsen enjoyed what turned out to be Chris’ last night with him and said his passing had “stunned, bewildered and agonised those of us close to him”.
Bernt met Chris in the early 1990s through business and their families forged a close friendship which was being celebrated at the Harvey family home on Saturday.
“He was a gentleman who lived and loved for his family. He had integrity, a great sense of humour and honesty. He was compassionate and wonderful with animals,” he said. “We were privileged to share his last night at the Harvey’s place.
“As mates often do, Marco Piat and myself hung around the barbecue while Chris handled the steaks and Janet prepared the rest of the meal with our wives - a very memorable evening with many laughs and much shared love. We had lots of fun, I miss you mate.”
Colleague and friend David Cotton was equally touched.
“Chris was a mentor to us, a true inspiration and a true gentleman with a beautiful nature,” he said. “He will be greatly missed by all of us.”
Help: fisherman Luke Rickhuss hangs on for dear life