MORE than 100 people gathered at Hastings Point headland on Sunday to bid a final farewell to much-loved family man Justin Crawford, as his ashes were spread out to sea.
The group, which included friends and family from as far as Newcastle and Hervey Bay, remembered Justin in a touching ceremony as they unveiled a special plaque on the headland, overlooking Justin’s favourite surf spot.
Accompanied by a circling sea hawk, a group of up to 30 surfers paddled out to form a ring just off the point, before spreading Justin’s ashes into the Pacific.
The Pottsville tradesman, aged just 41, died suddenly on June 1 after collapsing while working on a tug boat in Cairns.
He left behind his wife, Mel, and children Lily, 10, and Max, 9.
Friend Therasia Jennings said the special event had celebrated the life of a “great man, loved by all”.
“There was a sense of relief to finally let Justin go in the right place – in his place,” Ms Jennings said.
Jason Mann, who led the ceremony, described it as one befitting a great mate.
“We put our mate in the ocean, that was his dream,” Mr Mann said.
“He would have liked it, it was the send-off he deserved.”
A simultaneous ceremony was held in New Zealand, where a group of Justin’s friends braved icy waters to paddle out near Christchurch.