Friends pay tribute to great surfer with ‘infectious’ smile
Family and friends are grieving the loss of a talented 20-year-old Coolum surfer with an infectious smile.
Luddy Reynolds died after a midnight swim with mates at the Mary River near Gympie on New Year's Day.
His friends lost sight of him, sparking a 12 hour search of the river near Dobson and Traveston Crossing roads by police and SES crews.
His body was found by police divers about 80m from where he was last seen, with family and friends assembled at the campsite during the search left heartbroken by the news.
Friend Jess Gleeson met the former Coolum State School student when she became a member of Coolum Boardriders.
"He was a great competitor and an even better friend to everyone he knew - he really was," she said.
She said he loved his EH Ford Falcon and was keen to join her at the drifting track.
"The Reynolds are known in Coolum for their huge infectious smiles and pure stoke," she said.
"I want the community of Coolum and surrounds to know Luddy was having a ball on New Year's Eve.
"He was laughing, mucking around with all of us and having a fantastic time chatting to everyone he could find."
The Coolum Boardriders also paid tribute to the talented young surfer.
They said Luddy was a member from the moment he could stand up on a surfboard.
"He had the biggest infectious smile that made you immediately smile back every time you saw him," they said.
"He was a tremendous athlete who ripped in the waves and the boxing ring."
Imbil Police sergeant Bill Greer said it was a tragic start the 2021.
"It's just devastating," Sgt Greer said.
"It's devastating for the family who have been here on scene … to see what they're having to go through right now is just devastating."