Tributes flow for Brisbane River drowning victim Ben Reddich

TRAGIC LOSS: The body of bodybuilder Ben Reddich was found yesterday in the Brisbane River.
TRAGIC LOSS: The body of bodybuilder Ben Reddich was found yesterday in the Brisbane River. Contributed

POPULAR Ipswich recreation spot Kookaburra Park has become a place of mourning for family and friends of 21-year-old Ben Reddich.

The young fitness trainer, described by his father as "a beautiful man with a golden heart", mysteriously drowned while at the park with friends.

After a non-stop 70-hour search that involved police and SES volunteers, the body of Mr Reddich was found about 11am yesterday.

His body was found in the Brisbane River about one nautical mile toward Colleges Crossing from where he went missing.

The discovery confirmed the worst fears for father Andrew Reddich who said on Monday his family had been struggling to deal with the tragic news.

Speaking on Facebook yesterday, Mr Reddich said his son - an up-and-coming bodybuilder - would always be a source of inspiration to him.

"Ben's discipline, dedication, work ethic, passion and loyalty to friends made him not just an ambassador to bodybuilding but to how we should all live and love life," he wrote.

"You were a beautiful man with a golden heart - an old school gentleman."

Ben Reddich was a personal trainer at BST Gym in Rocklea and had also shone on stage in various National Amateur Body-Builders' Association and World Fitness Federation shows.

He had been with his mates at Kookaburra Park in Karana Downs on Sunday when he dived into the Brisbane River to fetch a soccer ball that was floating away.

Witnesses said Mr Reddich swam out about 10m short of the eastern bank of the river before his head suddenly disappeared below the water and didn't resurface.

Inspector Charysse Pond said investigations were continuing into the incident and that police were preparing a report for the coroner.

Insp Pond said police would be unable to establish what exactly happened to Mr Reddich until he was properly examined by the State Coroner's Office.

Mr Reddich's family have thanked all the emergency services personnel, SES volunteers and community members who assisted in the search for their son.


TRIBUTES have flowed in for Ben Reddich since news of his drowning became known:

"A PRECIOUS heart and soul that will be missed more than is imaginable. Loved deeply by so many. So heartbreaking for all who knew him. Rest in the arms of angels beautiful boy." - KAREN ADAMS

"I AM so sorry that he is gone. He was such a dedicated, beautiful young man. He will live on in the hearts of all who loved him." - NANCY MADDOX CLAYTON

"YOU will be truly missed my friend, you were an awesome athlete and positive to be around." - MICHAEL WADDINGTON

"BROTHER Ben Reddich, no time for rest. Go make gains with the iron gods in heaven. I'm going to miss you forever. Love you, bro." - TAKUMI PAL

"SUCH a sad loss. He was a beautiful soul with a lot of potential and will be missed." - MICHELLE ACHILLES

"OUR thoughts and prayers are with Ben's family and friends. May you find comfort in knowing others share and care for you in your great loss." - MARY BROSNAN

"BEN, fly high and may you be in peace with the angels above." - ARRION NGATUERE-WROE

"SO SAD, such a good kid." - SARAH JADE SLIWKA

"HORRIBLE things always happen to the best of us. RIP Ben Reddich - you were such an inspiration to others and a genuinely good bloke to be around. My heart goes out to your family and girlfriend." - MICHAEL ROWE

"WHAT agony his parents, family and friends will be going through. My heart and prayers of comfort and strength go out to you in your grief. May your loved one rest in peace." - HEATHER CLAYTON-CALLAGHAN

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