'Kind, Generous' Father And Son Farewelled After Rescue Tragedy
The family of Ross and Andrew Powell, who died trying to save a drowning tourist, have asked the community to continue their kind and generous spirit.
Hundreds packed the District Hall and spilled out into the car park in the tight-knit Victorian community of Timboon to farewell the father and son on Friday.
The pair, who were long-serving SES workers and surf lifesavers from Port Campbell, were remembered as passionate and generous.
Tim Wiebusch, Chief Officer of Operations for the State Emergency Service (SES) said they epitomised the essence of being a volunteer.
"There were passionate, generous with their time, and they made every effort to make their community a better place," he said.
Andrew "Andy" and Ross "Po" Powell were among three who performed a rescue in treacherous waters at the mouth of Sherbrook River on Easter Sunday.
They took off in a six-metre inflatable rescue boat after a tourist wading in the water was swept out into dangerous swells of up to two metres.
When their boat flipped, the 30-year-old tourist and fellow rescuer Phil Younis were winched to safety. But tragically, the Powell men could not be saved.
After the service on Friday morning, a guard of honour lined one of the main streets in Timboon, led by police, surf rescue and SES vehicles.
Later, oars were laid out on a beach ahead of an "oars up" longboat tribute at Port Campbell.
Ross was a loving husband and father of five. Andy, whose first child is due in August, followed in his father's footsteps as a dairy farmer.
Tom Westmore, a close friend, described Andy as "one of those friends who you admire so much, who you feel entirely unworthy of their friendship".
"Think of your own communities. Picture the most generous person. Picture, now, the kindest person. Now picture the most successful person. And finally, picture the most revered person. Imagine if all of these accolades belonged to one person alone. That's what Andy was to his people.
"The last two years of his life were his best -- he'd modernised the family farm, and most importantly, he fell madly in love with his soul mate Amber and they conceived a child," Westmore said.
"Sadly the next few years were going to be even better."
Neil Trotter, a close friend, delivered a statement from the family, thanking those who had cared and supported for them.
"Po's wife Val has said there is one quality needed in the community to survive and that is kindness," he read.
"That's why Po and Andy have touched so many people's lives and hearts in the local community and beyond."
The family has asked the community and wider public continues in Andy and Ross's spirit of giving.
"Find something you're passionate about, something you're good at and donate your time as a volunteer in your local community," Trotter said, on behalf of the family.
Featured image: Supplied