Tributes to dad who fell to his death off Coast balcony
A FORMER Hervey Bay man who fell to his death off a Caloundra balcony has been described by friends and neighbours as a great bloke and devoted single dad.
The father-of-two was killed on Wednesday afternoon after attempting to rappel from the roof of his unit block onto his top floor balcony after locking himself out of his apartment.
The man's family declined to release his full name, but friends and neighbours described John as a "salt of the earth bloke" and "real friendly fella".
One friend said that just a day before his death John had complained that it cost him $190 to replace a lost key, which he could not afford.
Witnesses described how John and a mate were on the roof of the apartment complex and were attempting to lower him onto the balcony directly below using a belt.
They said John had wrapped the belt around his wrists while a friend was standing on the roof and holding the other end.
However the belt snapped and John plummeted six floors.
One witness, who asked not to be named, said John was a "true blue Aussie" who would do anything for his kids.
"My daughter just said to me someone's fallen from the top floor," she said.
"And I said 'what?' And I looked out over my deck and I could see that it was John.
"I ran straight down. I was the first one down and I put my hands on him and I knew that he'd gone already.
"I just lay there with him. I told him that it'd be alright.
"We loved him and he'll be greatly missed. You would not get a better bloke."
It is believed John moved to the Sunshine Coast from Hervey Bay about a year ago.
He lived at the Coogera Apartments complex on Cooma Terrace with his son.
He also had a daughter who visited occasionally.
His children were in the care of family on Thursday.
Churches of Christ, which owns the complex, was offering counselling to John's family and residents on Thursday.