Family 'forever grateful' to rescuers after Noosa drowning
THE distraught stepfather of a Peregian man killed in surf at Noosa National Park has thanked those who risked their lives to rescue him.
Lindsay Connolly, 30, was bodyboarding with mates on Monday morning when disaster struck.
Eye witnesses saw seven brave surfers and off-duty lifeguards race to his aid, with one said to have held his unconscious body afloat for 15 minutes.
His step-father, Brian Connolly, issued a statement on behalf of the family.
"We would firstly like to thank everyone involved who tried to save Lindsay on Monday morning, many risking their own lives on the rocks at Noosa National Park," the statement read.
"The family are forever grateful for their efforts.
"Lindsay has always been passionate about surfing.
"He selflessly put his life and love for surfing on hold, while he took it upon himself to become the full time carer for his mum, Karlene.
"We have taken some solace in Lindsay's passing, that he was doing something he loved.
"We also wish to thank everyone for their love and support during this time."
Family friend Derek Story was the Connolly's neighbour for "about 15 years" and knew them well.
He paid tribute to a man he considered a friend.
"Lindsay was my neighbour at Coolum before he moved to Peregian," Mr Story said.
"He was a great fella. He was very selfless.
"He was just about getting his life back on track. It just a tragedy."
Mr Connolly had previously played drums for Sunshine Coast band MESSIAM, spearheaded by Brad Bromfield.
He described the death as an "absolute tragedy".
"Lindsay was my little brother," he said.
"He had faith and trust and love for me.
"I can't thank him and love him enough for spending all the time and the bulls--t he did with me."