A Cranebrook man has tragically died after a kayaking incident on the Central Coast.
25-year-old Simeon McNeill was kayaking with friends on Budgewoi Lake at Toukley on New Year’s Eve when the weather suddenly worsened.
The group were unable to return to shore and two kayakers were later rescued about 500 metres south of the Buff Point reserve.
Mr McNeill, however, could not be found, and a full scale search was launched by police with the assistance of the Marine Area Command, Marine Rescue, Roads and Maritime Services and Polair.
Just before 11am yesterday, Mr McNeill’s body was located in the water off Budgewoi.
It is understood Mr McNeill was attempting to help others in the group, including his youngest cousin, when his kayak flipped and he was dragged under water.
“Simeon passed away trying to save the life of somebody else which sadly cost him his own,” a family member said.
“Simeon was a happy fun and loving human being who clearly put others before himself, he was always the life of the party and made everyone around him happy.”
A GoFundMe page has been launched to assist Mr McNeill’s family with the funeral expenses. Donate here.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.