Grieving dad: Drowning tragedy could have been avoided
THE still grieving father of a teen who drowned in the same lake where a body has been found, following a massive police search for a missing swimmer, can't understand how it has been allowed to happen again.
Anger engulfed Ryan Wilmott when he turned on his radio this morning to hear an Ipswich City councillor calling for the lake where his son drowned to be backfilled.
In February Mr Wilmott, an Ipswich real estate agent, waited eight days for police divers to recover the body of his 16-year-old son Duncan, who drowned in Aqua Lake while swimming with friends.
Not a day has gone by since that Mr Wilmott hasn't cried over the loss of his only son.
Today, his thoughts are with the family of a missing 21-year-old man, who he imagines would feel the same way he did while hopefully waiting for news.
Police divers found a body in the same lake this morning after the man disappeared under the water late yesterday afternoon, while swimming with a friend.
If the worst is confirmed, it will be the fourth drowning death at Aqua Lake in the past eight years.
For Mr Wilmott, hearing Cr Paul Tully publicly calling for action was an insult.
After Duncan's body was found Mr Wilmott asked the council, and the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, to take action to ensure no more families would suffer the same loss.
The area is private property, trespassing is illegal.
Warning signs have been erected but the lake is yet to be drained and the former mine site properly rehabilitated.
"When's the next one going to be?," Mr Wilmott says.
"Are they going to leave it there for another 70 years and let more people die there?
"How many people have to die?
"Losing my son has ruined my life. I heard another boy had gone missing at that lake last night and I couldn't sleep.
"When I got up this morning and turned on the radio, it made me angry.
"I told Tully at the start of the year to do something. I sent him an email and he didn't even reply to me.
"They should have done something then. For politicians it's just a popularity contest; he's just drumming himself up a bit more off someone else's bad fortune.
"My thought are with the family of this young man."