Vale Aaron Rowe “Rowey” – yet another young Bulldog Brother taken way too early!
A 22-YEAR-old Mildura man has been remembered as a go-getter with a passion for life after he tragically drowned in the Murray River on Thursday afternoon.
Aaron Rowe drowned near Merbein Common about 5.30pm Thursday while waterskiing with a friend.
It is understood Mr Rowe was attempting to untangle a rope from under the boat’s propeller, but failed to resurface.
Police divers and SES members responded to the incident and his body was recovered late Friday afternoon.
Mildura Homes owner Mark Cleary paid tribute to his apprentice carpenter, who had been with the business for eight months.
“Absolute life of the party, he was a very confident young man for his age,” Mr Cleary said.
“He was cheeky, he had a cheeky grin – that’s what everyone will miss and remember.
“We will remember his confidence and his passion for life, he didn’t hold back in doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.
“He was a hard worker and was eager to learn in the eight months that he had been working for us – he was a real go-getter.”
Mr Cleary said Mr Rowe and a workmate were attempting to untangle a rope from under the propeller.
“It was nothing that anyone did wrong; it was just wrong place, wrong time,” he said.
“It’s one of those things, anyone who owns a boat would know. I have done it six times myself – untangled a rope from the propeller.
“It’s happened a lot of times but you don’t think about the possibility, it’s like a one in 100 thing.
“It was just a hot day and they tried to enjoy the water and it ended tragically.”
Mr Rowe has also been remembered as a keen footballer for South Mildura Sporting Club.
South Mildura president Mark Bresnehan said Mr Rowe would be sorely missed around the club.
“On behalf of the club I’d just like to wish his family our sincerest condolences and we will reach out and support in any way we can,” he said.
Bresnehan said Mr Rowe, the grandson of late club great Wally Keeble, whose family had a long association with the Bulldogs, had just started to come into his own as a senior footballer.
“Aaron was on the verge of becoming a formidable wingman for South with his lightning speed and agility – just as his grandfather Wally Keeble was,” he said.
A GoFundMe fundraising page was created by family friends on Saturday night, and had already reached its target of $10,000 by midafternoon yesterday.
The page described Mr Rowe as a talented footballer who would be sadly missed.
“He was taken from us way too soon at the age of 22,” it read.
“He will be dearly missed by everyone.
“Aaron always had a cheeky grin on his face that would light up the room.
“He was an extremely talented footy player and was always making his family so proud.”
Mr Cleary said Mildura Homes employees joined South Mildura club members on Friday to remember Mr Rowe, and hope to rally together and help as much as they can.
“All the work guys got together and had some pizzas and a few beers and then went around to the South football club in the evening,” he said.
“His girlfriend Ash is under a lot of pressure, I suppose, so ourselves and South Mildura are planning to help out with it all.”
Photo and story courtesy of Sunraysia Daily