‘No words can describe the emptiness and heartbreak’
Shocked family and friends have paid heartfelt tribute to a Gold Coast man who lost his life after going for a weekend swim in the ocean.
Angus Rotherham, 26, has been farewelled by friends during a beach memorial on Monday night, after he failed to regain consciousness following a swim on Saturday morning at Tugun.
Friends gathered at Brunswick Heads beach at sunset to remember his "magical" life, sharing poems and performing music.
Angus' father David Rotherham said he still had questions about his son's death.
"(He began the day) in the way that he loves, checking in with his morning movement practice, then went out for a swim off flat rock at Tugun into one of the most beautiful sunrises ever," Mr Rotherham posted to social media.
He said his son was found "floating lifeless" by jetskiers some time later and was carried back to the beach.
Paramedics rushed him to Gold Coast University Hospital, where he later died.
"Paramedics restarted his beautiful heart, but he has been unable to breathe for himself … we are advised that his brain remained without life-giving oxygen for so long that he (would) not come back," Mr Rotherham said.
Witnesses told the Bulletin the ocean conditions had been flat that morning, and they were at a loss as to how Mr Rotherham had come to find himself in trouble in the water.
One of the people who came to his aid said it was "terrible" to hear about his death, but he was relieved Mr Rotherham's body could be returned to his family.
Sister Katie Rotherham said she took comfort in knowing her "dearest, sweet brother" was happy when he dived into the waves.
"We may never know the details of what happened, but we have found comfort knowing he passed doing something he loved - swimming in the ocean on a beautiful sunrise where we grew up," she said.
"No words can describe the emptiness and pure heartbreak my beautiful parents, family and I are feeling, as well as all of his dear friends."
Ms Rotherham said her brother was a registered organ donor, and his organ had already "saved" six lives, including a baby.
Leagues of heartbroken friends have taken to social media to mourn the former Palm Beach Currumbin State High School student, who has been remembered as a kind creative soul and free spirit who "loved fully".
"(You reminded) us of the playful child we each have inside of us," Chani Ridley wrote to his Facebook page.
Sunjaya Bowen recalled his love of early morning yoga and Tai Chi, doing handstands on his balcony and swimming whenever he could.
Kate Leopold said Mr Rotherham was a man of many talents, helping people wherever he could with building and farming work.
"He lived in the bush for a year … he wrote songs … he didn't have a fixed house, he knew how to recognise wild plants and would eat it," Vick Storie said.
"His life already, at 26 years old, was extraordinary."