Death leaves hole in hearts

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SAM SMALLBONE

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

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