Tragic Turn in Manly: A Storm, a Capsized Boat, and a Community in Mourning

Manly Moreton Bay Marine Incident
Photo Credit: QPS

Tragedy struck off the coast of Manly on Boxing Day after a boat carrying 11 friends capsized in a violent storm, claiming the lives of three men who were all set to enjoy their annual fishing trip to Moreton Bay.

The victims were Robert Holden, Stephen Tait, and David “Mario” Logan, whose untimely deaths have left a profound void in the hearts of many.

Robert, 48, a resident of Alexandra Hills, was a revered figure both in his professional and personal life. He was a devoted family man, married to Michelle for 19 years, and a father who was the bedrock of his family. 

Stephen, a former Queensland rugby player who taught at Iona College, was known for his larger-than-life personality and his immense contribution to the rugby community. As a father, he was deeply cherished, remembered through his daughter’s poignant social media tribute as “the most selfless person” she knew. 

Mario, another rugby icon, was a figure deeply entrenched in the Queensland rugby scene. His playful nature, coupled with his passion for the sport, made him a beloved character. 

As the boat succumbed to the tempestuous seas, heroism surfaced as recounted Michelle, who received a distressing call from her husband, leading her to alert the coastguard. The survivors, eight in total, were brought to safety at Manly Harbour, though the three men tragically did not survive.

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The aftermath at Manly Harbour was a poignant scene of collective mourning. The community, along with the families of the deceased, grappled with the sudden loss.

This boating disaster was part of a larger destruction caused by the supercell storm that battered South East Queensland during the Christmas holidays. The toll of seven lives lost in just two days, including those in Moreton Bay, underscored the severity of the weather’s impact. 

Published 29-Dec-2023