A young mother killed in a horrific Brisbane River boat crash on Wednesday was a "truly remarkable person" who overcame homelessness and made a life for herself, her father says.

Nicole Herbert, 21, was killed after the tinnie she was in struck a private jetty at Chelmer, in Brisbane's southwest, just after 4pm.

Her partner, Shaydon Harwood, 21, and their daughter, Kylah, 2, were not seriously injured.

Nicole Herbert with her daughter Kylah Herbert.
Nicole Herbert with her daughter Kylah Herbert.

A 46-year-old friend who was with them at the time also escaped serious injury.

It's understood Ms Herbert was flung from the boat and struck her head.

Ms Herbert's father, Rodger Herbert, exclusively shared his daughter's incredible story with The Courier-Mail, saying he had "a wound that will never heal".

"No one will say a bad word about her, she was happy, full of life and caring beyond belief," he said.

"As her father, I have a wound that will never heal. She truly was a remarkable person.

"She really was an awesome human - she started out essentially homeless at 16 and worked her way up to where she was with her partner, Shaydon."

Emergency services as the scene of a boating accident at Chelmer. Picture: Channel 7
Emergency services as the scene of a boating accident at Chelmer. Picture: Channel 7


"She was with her high school sweetheart til the end."

In an incredible twist, Ms Herbert plans to donate her organs, bones and skin to save the lives of others, her father said.

"People from the surrounding houses came down to help and it was one of them that grabbed Kylah out of the mud and onto dry land," Mr Herbert said.

"She did well in life and had everything she wanted and everything she did was either to provide for her family or put a smile on our faces."

He said that Mr Harwood, Kylah and the 46-year-old man had been released from hospital on Thursday.

Ariel images of the crashed dinghy. Picture: The Today Show
Ariel images of the crashed dinghy. Picture: The Today Show

Ms Herbert's 12-year-old brother, Shannon, said he had lost his "best friend".

"She was a very loving and caring sister and like a best friend to me and would help me with anything if I needed help," Shannon told The Courier-Mail.

"She was just the best sister anyone could ask for and I just miss her."

Mr Herbert said his daughter was not driving the boat at the time and alleged that no one on the vessel had a licence.

He also alleged that alcohol was "possibly" involved.

No charges have been laid.

Friends have also paid tribute to Ms Herbert, saying she touched a lot of lives with her personality.

"She deserved a much longer life," one friend told The Courier-Mail.

"She was a beautiful young woman inside and out, and was just such a lovely person in general."

Police are investigating the crash.

Originally published as 'A wound that will never heal': Dad mourns Brisbane boat victim


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