A young West Australian man has been identified as the tragic victim of a fatal boat crash following a three-day search effort.
Tye Smith, 27, a beloved footballer and fisherman is being remembered by friends and family after being caught up in a freak accident at West Lewis Island, near Dampier on Saturday.
It is believed he and another passenger in his 20s were onboard the boat at about 11pm when the vessel smashed into a mooring and sunk, the West Australian reports. The two were reportedly not wearing life jackets at the time.
While the man in his 20s managed to escape — swimming for hours before finding campers and signalling for help — Tye could not be found, WA police told the publication.
The incident triggered a three-day search by police and those who knew Tye, however his body was sadly recovered on Tuesday.
"A body believed to be the missing 27-year-old male has been located within the search area," police confirmed to Yahoo News Australia. "A report will be prepared for the Coroner."
Tributes flow for 'best bloke'
It is believed members of the Exmouth Eagles Football Club — where Tye was a footballer — helped with the search, with several sharing tributes afterwards online.
"Until we meet again my brother. Keep flying in the deep blue king," one member and friend posted on Facebook, with a photo of him holding a swordfish.
The Wakeboard WA club also shared a touching tribute to Tye, sending their condolences to his family and friends.
"A cheeky, happy lad with a huge sense of adventure and love of life. A past, well loved member of our club," they said on Facebook.
"That big, infectious smile and laughter will be missed by so very many of us! You were taken way to soon! Hope you’re catching a tonne of big ones up there."
A number of locals responded to the post overnight sharing their disbelief at the news.
"Honestly still in shock! What an absolute tragedy and massive loss for this planet," one person lamented.
"Heaven gained one of the best blokes you can meet, rest in paradise legend. That smile will live on forever," another commented.
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