Sydney’s close-knit community rallied around a teenager who lost his girlfriend and was seriously injured in a horrific boat crash.
Cobie Bennett, 19, and his girlfriend Cassandra “Casey” Moore, 20, were reportedly operating different boats when they collided near Elvin’s Bay in Pittwater around 7:00 pm on July 17.
Ms Muir died at the scene, despite the heroic efforts of the emergency services, “in total darkness” in “a very difficult place to reach.” Mr Bennett was taken to the Royal North Shore Hospital in critical condition on Sunday after suffering numerous cuts and abrasions.
His friends told The Daily Telegraph that after the accident, the teenager was unable to speak due to a serious injury and subsequent oral surgery.
Locals say a fundraiser to support Mr. Bennett began Tuesday, and Pittwater residents were “deeply affected” by the devastating accident.
“Kobe and Casey, a pair of young boating enthusiasts, united their love for the water and boats as they forge their own path and make their dreams come true,” the GoFundMe organizers wrote.
They call on the small community to “dig deep” and rally around Mr. Bennet, who is described as “a talented apprentice shipwright with a fine soul” and “a cheerful, determined and good-hearted young man”.
“Kobe always raises his hand and is ready to help anyone who needs help,” reads the description of the fundraiser.
“Now is the time we have to give Kobe all our love and support.”
At the time of writing, the fundraiser has exceeded its goal of $25,000 to be given to Mr. Bennett to “help rebuild his life in whatever needs to be done to give him a brighter future in this dark chapter of his young life.”
According to the organizers, part of the funds will be donated to Ms Muir’s family to build a monument to the beloved German citizen and help cover their travel expenses to Australia.
Her devastated mother Romana Moore said the 20-year-old left her native Germany for a short holiday in Australia but stayed after falling in love with the country.
“She left her soul in Australia, a place she truly loved,” Ms Moore told The Daily Telegraph.
“I was not very happy that Casey stayed in Australia, but she was very happy and made good friends.”
Ms Moore was found unconscious in her 5m runabout after locals reported hearing a loud crash on Sunday evening.
Paramedics from New South Wales were lowered from a helicopter to provide emergency care to a 20-year-old girl, but she could not be resuscitated.
NSW Police Maritime Zone Command Chief Superintendent Murray Reynolds said police have confiscated two 5-meter runabouts for a forensic examination.
“We have yet to understand exactly what happened, but the ships may have been moving in opposite directions,” he said.
“It’s a tragedy, it’s a terrible set of circumstances.”
Police are investigating whether speed, potential alcohol use and the safety equipment used played a role in the tragedy.
Meanwhile, the Pittwater community is mourning.
“Our hearts are broken,” the GoFundMe post reads.
Originally published as ‘Our hearts are broken’: Sydney residents mourn boat wreck