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Australia'My beautiful dad': Family and friends pay tribute to 'super-fit' swimmer who died in Pier to Pub

05:20  13 january  2019
05:20  13 january  2019 Source:   theage.com.au

Pictured: Grandfather, 65, who died after he was pulled unconscious from the ocean while competing in the Pier to Pub swim race

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I wrote this poem for my dad who passed away at the age of 47, 2 years ago, out of the blue, in his sleep. I wrote this and spoke it out from my heart at the funeral while he was lying at rest behind me. this touched me because I lost my dad the same way. He died in his sleep. I miss him so much.

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'My beautiful dad': Family and friends pay tribute to 'super-fit' swimmer who died in Pier to Pub© Sarah Howard Mr Howard, seen here with his grand daughter Stevie, was devoted to his family.

Devastated friends and family are shocked at the death of "super-fit" swimmer and retired primary school teacher Murray Howard who died during the annual Pier to Pub race in Lorne on Saturday.

Mr Howard was competing in his 20th Pier to Pub race, and his friend Keith Miller said his death came as a complete shock.

“He was super fit, that was the thing that shocked us most. He didn’t have an ounce of fat on him,” Mr Miller said.

“I had arranged to meet him at the aquatic club after the race at about four [o'clock]. It got to five [o'clock] and my son called and gave me the news,” he said.

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At this time, to respect their family ’s and friends ’ privacy, we will not be commenting further.” The first varsity ski trip was held in Switzerland in A spokeswoman for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British national who died in France on 4 December.

A family starts with only two, and if they're lucky and work hard, they can create something magical called a family . This poem reminds me of my mom's side of the family and my dad 's side. We love each other and we're glad that A Tribute To Family . © Michelle A. Moran. Published: February 2006.

“It was devastating.”

Mr Howard's daughter Sarah said her 65-year-old father was the kind of man who would do anything for anyone.

“My beautiful dad ... He was so loved by not only his family but the communities around him,” she said.

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Her family paid tribute to her as the last of the 22 victims was named as 15-year-old Megan Hurley, from Halewood in Liverpool. “We are supporting her family at this very difficult time, and will be providing support for friends and colleagues from the constabulary as we come to terms with the loss

“His grandkids were his life and his face would light up in a high beam when he spoke about them. He was so proud of his farm and his cattle. He loved the [Geelong] Cats and anything football.

“He loved the Pier to Pub and being down in Lorne.”

'My beautiful dad': Family and friends pay tribute to 'super-fit' swimmer who died in Pier to Pub© Facebook Mr Howard was highly involved in the community in his home town of Beeac. Mr Howard - a cattle farmer and former primary school - was a dedicated member of the Lorne Aquatic and Angling club and involved in many other community groups across Lorne, Colac and his home town of Beeac, about 160 kilometres south-west of Melbourne.

Mr Howard regularly spent several weeks over summer in Lorne.

“He didn’t have an enemy in the world, everyone just loved him,” Mr Miller said.

“He used to walk into a room and just brighten up everyone in there. He could just talk to anyone … He was my one of my best mates and one of the best people I have ever met.”

Mr Howard came into trouble on Saturday during the popular 1.2 kilometre open water swim.

Paramedics were called to the scene about 2.50pm, minutes after he was pulled from the water, but were unable to save him.

The Lorne Surf Life Saving Club issued a statement saying it was saddened by Mr Howard's death, but would not provide further comment.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the competitor,” the statement read.

The tragedy cast a shadow over otherwise near-perfect conditions for the 39th edition of the annual event, billed as the largest open water swim in the world.

About 5000 people participated in this year's Pier to Pub swim, including federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Carlton Blues young gun Charlie Curnow and former Cats premiership skipper Cameron Ling.

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