Mercury (Hobart)

Friends left heartbroke­n after death


A VICTORIAN man found dead in the River Derwent after a large-scale police search has been remembered as the “best mate anyone could have”.

Heartfelt tributes for Jarrod Robert Davies started pouring in last night after police confirmed his body had been formally identified.

The 27-year-old was last seen alive heading towards Elizabeth Street Pier after leaving the Observator­y Bar nightclub at Franklin Wharf about 1am on Sunday.

Police divers made the tragic find about 30m south of the pier on Tuesday afternoon after discoverin­g his phone submerged nearby on Monday night.

Mr Davies was visiting Tasmania with his father to undertake a marine-related course.

Police would not reveal any details but confirmed Mr Davies made a final phone call to his dad — who had returned to their central Hobart hotel earlier in the evening — about 1.20am on Sunday.

Mr Davies, originally of Leongatha in South Gippsland, worked as a diving instructor.

Hometown friends and travellers he had crossed paths with in Cambodia, Vietnam and Fiji were among the many people who paid tribute to him last night.

Fellow diver Alexandra May described him as a “bright light” taken too soon.

“You made those long days working on a remote island full of laughter and fun,” she said. “I feel so blessed to have known you and to have spent that time with you in Fiji. May your spirit shine.”

Molly Ashur, of North Carolina, shared a video and several photos of Mr Davies scuba diving with the words: “My heart is broken. Jarrod, it was a blessing to know you and you will be missed tremendous­ly. Thank you for your infectious joy and your love of life.”

Ben Jones told of answering a phone call he never wanted to receive. He said the shocking news had left him “absolutely heartbroke­n”.

“It still doesn’t feel real, I was only speaking to you last week,” Mr Jones said.

“You are the best mate anyone could have. You always filled the room with laughter.”

Foul play has been ruled out but the police investigat­ion will continue to focus on Mr Davies’ movements leading up to him entering the water.

A report is being prepared for the coroner.

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