Friends of 13-year-old Georgia Vizovitis, who drowned after a boat capsized near Moruya on the NSW south coast on Saturday, have paid tribute to the Canberra teenager on social media.
Georgia was on a fishing trip with family and friends when she was found dead in the hull of an upturned boat and was retrieved by a Surf Life Saving NSW rescuer.
Five of the group were pulled from the water after the 6.3-metre vessel sank trying to navigate the bar near the Moruya break wall about 7:00am.
Comments have flooded an Instagram photo of the beach the teenage girl uploaded two weeks ago, with one friend writing “You will be forever missed”.
“Rest in piece [sic] sweetie. You are going to fly high, I know it,” another comment read.
“I’m so sorry you had to go this way,” read a third.
Meanwhile, the principal of the ACT’s Mount Stromlo High School, where the Year 8 student attended, wrote to the school community yesterday offering support.
The letter, addressed to parents and carers, revealed the “very sad news about a member of our school community”.
“One of our Year 8 students, Georgia Vizovitis, died in a boating accident at Moruya on the weekend,” it continued.
“Our thoughts are with the student’s family and friends.”
It said the school would concentrate on supporting students and staff during the difficult time.
Other five were rescued, raised alarm
The other five passengers were three men aged 18, 29 and 46, a 13-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, who were all taken to Moruya hospital for treatment for minor injuries.
Acting Superintendent Darren Wood said on Saturday the other four passengers on the boat were returned to shore on jet skis with the fifth brought in by boat later.
The five rescued raised the alarm about the missing teenager.
The girl was under the water for 20 to 40 minutes before her body was recovered and resuscitation was not attempted, Acting Superintendent Wood said.
“No-one likes to see anyone killed on a day’s fishing, especially a young child. [It’s] heartbreaking for the community and family.”
The 18-year-old and 13-year-old males rescued were treated for hypothermia and the 13-year-old female survivor was treated for an in injury to her foot.
NSW Police confirmed the girl who died was from Canberra, with surviving boat occupants from the ACT and Victoria.
The boat was following another vessel out to sea across the bar at Moruya Heads, the SLS said.
It was hit by three big waves, with the third capsizing the boat.
“They just simply overturned in the surf conditions,” SLS duty officer Andrew Edmunds said.
“Unfortunately none of the occupants were wearing life jackets.”