Kingaroy mourns ‘brave’ father after tragic drowning
THE tributes are pouring in for two brave fathers who tragically lost their lives while trying to pull their children from the surf at Noosa this morning.
Denny Jade Caballa, 37, from Kingaroy, and Richard Catbagan, 37, from Dalby dived into the surf after spotting three of their children struggling to stay afloat in the deceptively dangerous waters at Teewah Beach.
Richard's two children made it back to shore, while Denny's son Tyghan, 9, was taken to hospital.
After being dragged out to sea by a strong rip, the two men were eventually pulled from the ocean by a third man.
Emergency crews tried desperately to revive them on the beach, but both were tragically declared dead at the scene.
Speaking to The Courier-Mail, Denny's wife of 16 years, Cherry Apple Caballa, described her husband as 'brave'.
"He was a very proud father. He was a very responsible man," Ms Caballa said.
"We loved him, we miss him, and we're very proud of him. He's our hero."
Xeino Sacremento, a friend who also rushed to the children's aid, described the tide that day as deceptive.
"It was just below knee level, and suddenly when this wave caught us … we couldn't feel the ground anymore," he said.
There has been an outpouring of emotion to both men on social media, with the Kingaroy community shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of Denny.
"You will be missed forever and always. The beautiful moments you shared with us will always speak of a great person that you were. Rest in peace up in the heaven my friend," one commenter said.
"Our deepest sympathy to Cherry Apple and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Surely you will not be forgotten. We often remember you as a loving husband to Cherry Apple, a great dad to your beautiful three boys and a good friend to your colleagues and friends," said another.