Long-time Byron Bay locals have been shocked by the drowning death in southern NSW of Mark Tiernan.
The eldest son of Kevin and Anne Tiernan of Suffolk Park, Mark, 51, who was doing seasonal work on a farm at Boree Creek, was in a utility attempting to cross a flooded creek in the Lockhart area on Sunday morning – his birthday – when the vehicle was swept away.
A 25-year-old man who was also in the utility managed to escape and flagged down a passing SES crew who alerted emergency services.
Police said a search continued until about 9.30am on Sunday, when the submerged utility was found about 400m from the crossing.
Greg Daniels, a mate from their days at Mullumbimby High School, said Mark was a ‘pretty casual sort of bloke who loved life’ and who was always working.
Mr Daniels said Mark had worked in many different fields and had spent time travelling the world, including a stint in London.
“If he was out of work for a week, he would go looking for a job,” he said.
Mr Daniels said Mark, known as ‘Tinhead’, was a keen sportsman who had played rugby league for the Byron Bay Red Devils and was a member of the Byron Bay Malibu Club.
Mark’s parents were on their way to visit him when they received the news of his death.
A report is to be prepared for the coroner.
The funeral service will be held at St Finbarr’s Catholic Church in Byron Bay on Monday.
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