'We were brothers': Tribute to mates killed in trawler horror
RUBEN McDornan, believed to be the sole survivor of the Dianne vessel that capsized off the central Queensland coast, has penned an emotional tribute, saying the crew were his "brothers".
A triple roar of "sluggers" bellowed through Munro Martin Parklands after a moving speech by the boat's second skipper Adam Kelly, who said "if anyone can achieve the impossible, it is the boys still out there".
Mr McDornan, 32, pointed to the sky to a rousing reception when he lit his candle and embraced Mr Kelly in a touching moment at the service tonight.
In a statement read out by Police Chaplain Doug Foster, Mr McDornan said the boys were "living out their dreams" to support their loved ones.
"We are not only workmates, we are brothers," he said.
"We motivated each other, we challenged each other, we had each other's backs. We were always having a laugh.
"All these boys were my best mates. They are family. I loved them. I cherished everything we did together and I don't know what I will do without them."
Mr McDornan's slugging career has spanned more than 13 years.
"The Dianne was everything to me. I lived and breathed slugging," he said.
The bodies of skipper Ben Leahy, 45, and Adam Hoffman, 30, were found inside the vessel, while Eli Tonks, 39, Adam Bidner, 33, Zach Feeney, 28, and Chris Sammut, 34 remain missing.
The public service was attended by hundreds of Far Northerners, including family and friends of the missing and deceased crew members.
Family representatives lit candles for each fisherman.
Mr Kelly, who had been on the boat for almost a decade, said the crew would "always be legends in my eyes".
"In moments of chaos like this it is important to hold onto the little spurs of hope," he said. "If there is one in a million chance - then that is enough for me. If anyone can achieve the impossible, it is the boys still out there. Stay strong guys until proven otherwise."
Mr Kelly also praised the efforts of search and rescue crews in the past two weeks.
"The amount of effort these guys put in was relentless ... That takes guts and gore. You all stood there ... tears, blood, sweat and everything," he said.