Memorial service for Joel Winterton at the park below the Lamington Bridge where he drowned. Friends farewell him with a floral tribute from the pontoon he was fishing from. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Memorial service for Joel Winterton at the park below the Lamington Bridge where he drowned. Friends farewell him with a floral tribute from the pontoon he was fishing from. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

Father calls for pontoon safety following death of son

JAMIE Hoolahan doesn't want anyone to suffer the fate that befell his foster son, Joel Winterton.

The 25-year-old was sitting with a mate who was fishing from the pontoon near Maryborough's Lamington Bridge on February 10 when it is believed he suffered an epileptic seizure. He fell into the water and drowned.

RELATED: Goodbye our darling son: Hundreds gather to farewell Joel

Since then Jamie has been campaigning to get safety railing around the pontoon to prevent others from falling into the water.

Jamie said he had contacted Fraser Coast Regional Council's Daniel Sanderson, who has offered his help, and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, which was also providing assistance.

Cr Sanderson said he had known Joel and his passing had greatly affected him.

He said investigations needed to be done regarding the best way to improve the safety of the pontoon.

A spokesperson from Transport and Main Roads said the State Coroner would be investigating Joel's death.

"Any findings and recommendations which relate to infrastructure, such as the floating walkway, will be considered," the spokesperson said.

Jamie said his family was still reeling after losing Joel.

His wife Sandy was struggling, Jamie said, while he had found solace in helping Joel's friends cope, as well as visiting the pontoon.

He said Joel's son, Chase, was doing well and wasn't fully aware of what had happened.

Sad Loss

Joel Winterton died after falling in the Mary River on February 10

He was just 25 years old



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