‘Heartbroken’: Tributes flow after Cairns triathlon tragedy


Tributes are flowing for army veteran Dave Hayes, who tragically passed away following the Cairns Ironman triathlon on Sunday.

On Sunday evening, Ironman 70.3 organisers confirmed one of the competitors — who was later identified by The Cairns Post as Brisbane-based Jetstar pilot Dave Hayes — had died after receiving medical attention during the swim portion of the Palm Cove event.

Event organisers said they were “deeply saddened” by Hayes’ death, posting to Facebook: “We thank the swim safety and emergency services personnel for their response to provide the athlete with medical support.

“Our condolences go out to the athlete’s family and friends, whom we will continue to support during this difficult time.”

According to Hayes’ LinkedIn profile, he served as an Army officer for 27 years before working with Jetstar as a pilot.

He was a loving father and grandfather who once swam the English Channel.

Hayes’ daughter Rachel shared a heartfelt tribute on Facebook: “Dad passed away this morning doing something that he loved so passionately.

“He will be remembered for his incredible passion for flying, sailing, shooting and swimming; his hilariously terrible dad jokes; his corn fritters and his ability to always be high on his favourite ‘drug’ (as he called it) — life.

“He was my hero and my biggest cheerleader. I will always be Daddy’s little girl, no matter the age and I will always strive to be the best version of myself because of him.

“I will continue to celebrate the parts of you that live on in us.”

Ironman teammate Donna Gill shared her condolences, describing Hayes as a “true gentleman” and a “go-getter”.

“We are immensely heartbroken,” she said.

“We continued the day to finish what Dave had started with us that morning. He would’ve wanted that.

“Emotionally tough but teamwork is teamwork and we leave no man behind.

“We eventually got there in the end mate — we crossed the finish line knowing YOU were the only true Ironman yesterday.

“We have your medal Dave and will leave it with you — you bloody well earnt it that’s for sure.”

Hayes’ death was the third Cairns Ironman tragedy in six years — 43-year-old Erica Atkins died after the 2015 event, while a 47-year-old Japanese man passed away the following year.

Former Queensland Surf Lifesaving regional manager Rob Davidson said Hayes’ death was an “absolute tragedy”.

“The conditions on Sunday morning were fine — in the end safety’s the most important thing and the event co-ordinators made the call to go ahead,” Davidson said, as reported by The Cairns Post.

“Anyone that competes in endurance events has done sufficient training.

“There are always risks associated, but in the end it’s just an absolute tragedy.

“There have only been three such incidents in 10 Ironmans, though obviously one is too many.”

Thank you for stopping by to visit My Local Pages and checking out this post involving sport titled “‘Heartbroken’: Tributes flow after Cairns triathlon tragedy”. This news release was posted by MyLocalPages as part of our national news services.

#Heartbroken #Tributes #flow #Cairns #triathlon #tragedy



Source link

Recommended Posts