An Irishman who drowned in Sydney’s Darling Harbour during the opening night of the Vivid Festival has been remembered as an “absolute gent”.
The man, named by local media as 34-year-old Brendan Hickey, was at the inner-city light display on a pontoon on Friday night when he fell into the water.
Two friends jumped in after him and officers from the Marine Area Command, Police Rescue and the NSW Ambulance helicopter joined the search, but Mr Hickey could not be saved.
Police divers retrieved his body in the early hours of Saturday.
Grieving loved ones have taken to Facebook to share their memories of “Bren”, who lived in Randwick.
“One of the greatest guys (I) knew, I’m devastated,” wrote Suzanne Colgan.
Another friend, Jeanette Gayton, said Mr Hickey was “a great man” and her thoughts were with his family.
Robbie Herbert simply wrote: “Absolute gent.”
Marine Area Command Acting Superintendent Joe McNulty told reporters on Saturday that police had not yet determined how the man came to fall into the water.
“We haven’t been able to confirm a trip, a fall or a push,” Acting Supt McNulty said.
“All witnesses said they heard (was) a splash and then they saw the 34-year-old man in the water.
“Our investigators are looking at the events that led up to the incident, where they were during the evening.
Vivid organisers said they were “shocked and saddened” by the tragedy, but that the incident is now a police matter.