‘Unforgettable character’: Mates pay tribute in sea search
A 59-YEAR-OLD Port Douglas man who fell into Dickson Inlet after suffering a medical episode has been identified as Allan Cook, affectionately known as Cookie.
Police have CCTV vision of Mr Cook walking along a jetty, falling off the end and being washed away by the current in a very high tide.
Police yesterday said the search for Mr Cook would continue but they held grave fears for him.
His best mate of over 20 years and fellow boatie Garry D. White saw the footage and identified Cookie himself.
"It's just so sad," he said.
"He was adamant he wanted to live on his boat but his health was going downhill."
Mr Cook suffered from epilepsy brought on by a car accident in his 20s.
Mr White said Cookie had already been pulled out of the water three times because of his health.
"But because of the virus, no one was around to help him this time," Mr White said.
Cookie had a passion for boating, punting and was a massive Collingwood supporter.
"He was pretty tight lipped about tips and that sort of thing," Mr White said.
"One time we were on the boat coming into Cooktown on Melbourne Cup Day. I barely had the anchor ready and Cookie pretty much jumped off the boat, ran up the jetty straight to the TAB.
"A little bit later he came running out with a paper in his hand screaming 'I knew it'. He had won $1000 on a horse and he offered to shout me dinner."
Cookie was kind hearted, faithful to his mates and he always put his hand up to help someone out.
"He's an unforgettable character," Mr White said.
"If he could give something, he'd give it.
"Everyone around here looked out for him and understood his circumstances. He was always sitting up at his table with a big grin on his face."
Mr White said Cookie loved his son who lived in Western Australia and always spoke highly of him.
Mr White thought Mr Cook was on a planned trip out of town but a newspaper found in his shopping bag helped police pinpoint a date of when he was last seen.
"He bought the (Port Douglas and Mossman) Gazette every Thursday. There'd be no reason for him to have it three weeks later," Mr White said.
The search for Mr Cook will continue on Friday.
Originally published as 'Unforgettable character': Mates pay tribute to boatie during sea search