Thursday, 8 May 2008

Harbour crash victim 'a larrikin who loved life'

A woman who died in last week's boat crash on Sydney Harbour has been remembered during a funeral service in Sydney's north-west as a larrikin who loved life.

20-year-old Elizabeth Holder was one of six people who died when a runabout crashed into a fishing trawler off Bradleys Head a week ago.

Hundreds of people packed the chapel at Macquarie Park Crematorium, in North Ryde, to hear eulogies by her sister and brother.

The service opened with music from the Rocky Horror Show, and her sister Michelle told the gathering of her childhood love of the musical.

"Lizzie was known for her warped sense of humour and individualist style," she said.

She described the hairdresser as a female version of the typical Balmain boy.

"Decorum and etiquette were not strong points for our Lizzie," she said.

"Mum was often heard saying, 'All that money wasted sending you to that good girl school'."

James Holder said he missed his sister's stories.

He said they usually made him laugh, but the last story of her life made him cry and broke his heart.

Ms Holder's friend Stacey Lee Wright, who also died in the crash, was farewelled at a funeral in Wollongong earlier this week.

Investigations into the crash are continuing.

Boat victim 'Pondy' died but saved five lives

The mother of one of the victims of the Sydney Harbour boat tragedy has revealed at his funeral this morning that her son was an organ donor and his death had meant that five people's lives had been saved.

Some 200 mourners attended the funeral this afternoon Alexander "Pondy" Nikakis.

In a brief ceremony, Mr Nikakis's mother, Roberta, said her "vivacious and energetic" son had died as he had often been found in life - "surrounded by women".

She said that because her son had been an organ donor, his death had meant that "five people's lives have been saved, and two people's lives have been changed for the better.

"Some very lucky person now has the biggest heart in the world," she said.

Like today's earlier funeral for Lizzie Holder, the ceremony was attended by six of the eight survivors of last Thursday's crash, in which six people died when a fishing trawler ran into a small runabout? Or [When the two boats collided. Or when the small runabout ran into the fishing trawler?]

Outside the church, Michael Tsimnadis, said he did not know who was piloting the boat at the time of the accident.

"I personally do not know - you can print that," he said.

Barmaid farewelled by harbour smash survivors

One of the victims from last week's boat accident on Sydney Harbour has been farewelled during a funeral service near Wollongong on the New South Wales south coast.

Stacey Lee Wright had just finished working at a Balmain hotel when she accepted a joyride with friends on a runabout in the early hours of last Thursday morning.

The 21-year-old was among six people who died when the boat collided with a fishing trawler near Bradleys Head.

About 500 people have attended St John Vianney's Catholic Church at Fairy Meadow, north of Wollongong, to pay their last respects to the former Woonona High School student.

They included a number of the crash survivors and many of Ms Wright's adopted Maori relatives.

In a eulogy, partly given in Maori, Ms Wright was described as being happiest when she was with her mother.

As her casket was carried from the church, relatives performed a traditional Maori haka.

Ms Wright will be buried at Scarborough Cemetery this afternoon.

Investigations into the accident are continuing.


Boat driver in fatal crash revealed: cover-up
Cocktail barman Percy Small has been named as the man at the wheel of the runabout when it crashed into a larger fishing boat, killing six people. It is believed those on board have also claimed that a third person may have been at the wheel during some point in the journey, News Limited [Limited News] reports. [???] [An attempt now to place someone that was allegedly not drunk at the helm???] Quote: "Witnesses have told police that after Mr Reynolds, a qualified skipper, negotiated the boat from Balmain Wharf he handed the controls over to Mr Small. Mr Small, who holds a 'boating licence' and 'did not appear affected by alcohol', safely took the boat across the harbour to Watsons Bay." Unquote. [NSW Police and Limited News Lies? Seems like they got the all clear??? Now all they have to do is inform the boat owners that granting permission to the crew for the journey won't be a liability???]

Harbour death crash: [who stole the boat?]
The father of Matthew Reynolds, [the man originally thought to have stolen the runabout and] the man originally thought to have been at the helm of the runabout at the time of last Thursday's harbour tragedy, says his son knows who was steering the vessel but will not reveal their identity because of "legal implications".

Homicide squad called in over harbour crash
THE homicide squad stamped its authority on the investigation into the harbour tragedy yesterday, with an inspection of the boats that smashed into each other in the cold and dark on Thursday morning.

Police name 6th harbour crash victim
Thirty-two-year-old Ashlei Ayres, a single mother of two, has now been named as one of the five people who died at the scene of the crash.

Balmain hotels fill as young mourn pub mates
Many of those involved in the accident were from Balmain. Friends gathered, embraced and cried openly on Darling Street, and soon after were intoxicated with alcohol as well as grief. Balmain bar staff described the incident as a pub staff night gone wrong.

Calls for binge warnings on alcohol packaging
The Public Health Association (PHA) says warnings about the dangers of binge drinking should be pasted on all forms of packaged alcoholic drinks.

Support for booze public education
A SURVEY of 1000 Australians found more than three-quarters of those questioned about attitudes to drinking said there was not enough public education about the dangers of alcohol, despite the Rudd Government's promise of a multimillion-dollar binge-drinking strategy.

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