A 20-year-old Sunshine Coast man who died while swimming in the Mary River near Gympie in the early hours of New Year's Day has been remembered as a "tremendous athlete" and "great mate to everyone."

Luddy Reynolds was on a camping trip with a group of friends at Kybong when the tragedy occurred.

Luddy Reynolds, 20, died while swimming in the Mary River near Gympie while camping. Picture: Supplied
Luddy Reynolds, 20, died while swimming in the Mary River near Gympie while camping. Picture: Supplied

The group were using the headlights of their cars to light the water in the Mary River at the corner of Traveston Crossing Rd and Dobson Rd when Mr Reynolds disappeared.

He was last seen just 12.30am in waist-deep water.

A major search operation was launched by police and SES crews, with his body found about 80m from where he was last seen around 12 hours later.

Friends and family members at the scene. Picture: Gympie Times
Friends and family members at the scene. Picture: Gympie Times

Jess Gleeson, who was with Mr Reynolds on the night of the tragedy, said she had "never seen a community fall to their knees like this before."

"I was there with him about an hour before it happened, and I want the community to know that he was happy, smiling, laughing and having a fantastic New Year's Eve," she wrote on social media.

"He was a great mate to everyone."

SES crews at the scene of the search. Picture: Gympie Times
SES crews at the scene of the search. Picture: Gympie Times

The Coolum Boardriders Club posted a heartfelt tribute to the talented surfer, skater and boxer on their Facebook page on Saturday.

"It is with a heavy heart we send our condolences to Chris, Justin and Tyrone Reynolds and all their family and friends, on the tragic loss of their brother/son/mate Luddy.

"Luddy was a member of our Boardriders club from the moment he could stand up on a surfboard. He had the biggest infectious smile that made you immediately smile back every time you saw him.

Luddy Reynolds was a member of Coolum Boardriders Club. Picture: Facebook
Luddy Reynolds was a member of Coolum Boardriders Club. Picture: Facebook

 

 

Luddy Reynolds was a talented surfer, skater and boxer. Picture: Facebook
Luddy Reynolds was a talented surfer, skater and boxer. Picture: Facebook

"He was a tremendous athlete who ripped in the waves and the boxing ring. He constantly placed in the Top 3 in the Groms, Cadets and Juniors at the club and loved surfing with his mates.

"It is hard to put in words how devastated we all are at this moment … We will miss you mate …"

Originally published as 20yo who died while swimming was talented surfer



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