Young man’s death remains a mystery and shatters Whitsundays
THE family and friends of Kieran Browne have been left shattered over the tragic death of the young yachtsman at sea off Hook Island in the Whitsundays.
The 29-year-old had been living in the Whitsundays for about five years and was known for his adventurous spirit and love of the open water - working on charter boats during his time in the region.
His Facebook page boasted several photos of a sun-kissed and happy young man sailing yachts and enjoying Queensland's sunshine.
His Airlie Beach friends were too grief-stricken to be interviewed yesterday but it is understood Mr Browne was originally from South Australia.
Mr Browne had been working as a crew member on a tourist charter vessel, Samurai, for about six months when tragedy struck early on Monday morning.
The charter vessel's owner, Rick Sampara, gave a statement to the Daily Mercury through his Whitsunday Law lawyer John Ryan yesterday.
Mr Ryan said Mr Sampara had been devastated to learn of the young man's death.
Mr Sampara was at Abell Point Marina yesterday afternoon to meet passengers, the vessel's skipper and other crew members as the Samurai returned to port.
The vessel was also met by Whitsunday Water Police officers.
Mr Ryan said he had advised Mr Sampara not to speak directly to the media and to wait to hear from authorities to determine what had happened to Mr Browne.
"He has no idea what happened, that's for other people to determine in due course," Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan reiterated how very upset his client was to learn about Mr Browne's death.
The Samurai offers tourists a three-day, two-night sailing experience, including scuba diving and snorkelling around the Whitsundays.
It departs from Airlie Beach on Thursdays and Sundays.
INVESTIGATIONS into the tragic death of 29-year-old Kieran Browne are continuing.
A specialist dive team retrieved the young man's body near Hook Island just before 6pm on Monday.
The yachtsman was reported missing about 8am Monday after he took the dingy from the Samurai, the charter yacht on which he had been working, at 1am.
A large scale search involving several rescue services ensued but by 9.30am RACQ-CQ Rescue was stood down from the search by Whitsunday Water Police.
Initial reports indicate Mr Browne drowned but the circumstances surrounding the tragedy are still not clear.