Friday 20 April 2018

Man drowns in Australian reservoir

Joe McCabe

AN IRISH teenager working in Australia has drowned in a reservoir where he had been swimming with friends.

Damien Crosby (19), from St Macartan's Villas in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, had been on a one-year working holiday with his cousin David Crosby and three friends.

He was working on a sugar cane farm over an hour's flight from the nearest town, Collinsville, and 1,245km north of Brisbane, Queensland.

The property was so large that Damien worked together with Darren Magee on one end of it, while friends David Woods, Brian Magee and David Crosby worked on the other end of the property many hours' drive away. The alarm was raised in the early hours of yesterday morning after the friends went swimming in the reservoir.

The body of the teenager was recovered by local police and the family was informed at about 3.30am Irish time yesterday.

Sandra Woods, the mother of David, said the five friends were "as thick as thieves" and always looked out for each other both at home and abroad.

"The lads are devastated at Damien's death. Knowing them as I do they will try to keep each other going as they try to come to terms with the death of their good friend."

The five friends had started their tour of Australia in June of last year in Melbourne. All are members of Carrickmacross Emmets Hurling Club and were due to return home in June.

Mrs Woods added: "Before this tragedy they were never as happy. They absolutely adored Australia and their farm work in Queensland.

"All five enjoyed Australia so much that they were coming home in June as planned, but intended getting a second working visa for another year. As a parent I was more concerned about them working on machinery. However, this was the one phone call we did not want to receive. We are all devastated."

Damien is survived by his parents Gerry and Regina, and brother Stephen. It is expected it may be several weeks before his remains can be flown home.

Irish Independent

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