Jason Hickey dies in the surf

Paramedics attempted to revive Jason Hickey on the beachWell-known Urunga businessman, Jason Hickey died in a tragic surf incident at Coffs Harbour’s Jetty Beach on Thursday (July 5).

Mr Hickey had been surfing with his two teenage sons when he lost consciousness suffering cardiac arrest just after 11am.

Police said the boys noticed their father floating and went to his aid.

A female runner noticed the boys were in distress and reacted. “I heard the commotion and just ran down onto the beach to help.”

She helped the boys pull their father onto his surfboard.

An off-duty lifeguard responded. He dragged the unconscious man onto his ski and carried him to the beach.

They commenced rescuscitation until paramedics arrived and placed him on a defibrillator. Paramedics attempted to revive Mr Hickey on the beach and inside an ambulance, but he died before reaching Coffs Harbour Base Hospital.

Police and emergency services praised the rescue efforts of the boys and counselling has been offered to the family.

Mr Hickey was fondly remembered by family and friends as a selfless, caring and community-minded individual, who served the Urunga branch of the State Emergency Services.

“Jason was a devoted family man; a wonderful father to his three boys, Jack, Angus and Rogan; a wonderful husband to Kristy and much-loved part of his large family,” the Hickey family said in a statement.

“He was a local Urunga business owner for over 20 years and a valued part of the Urunga community, a member of the SES for 24 years and coach of the U11s Coffs Crusaders Rugby Union.

“He loved his golf, fishing, surfing, camping and having a beer or two and a fine red wine.

“Jason enjoyed the finer things in life and will leave a very big hole in the lives of his friends and family.

“The community will be deeply saddened by his passing.

“His wife Kristy and sons would like to thank the people who assisted with Jason’s rescue, especially Amber and Milton plus hospital and ambulance staff.

“We would also like to thank friends and family for their well wishes.”

Jason’s funeral will be held at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Bellingen on Friday at 11am.

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