COMBINED EFFORT: Frank Cook, Rod Menzies and Paul Fehon look over maps of the Eatonsville area during Monday?s search.
COMBINED EFFORT: Frank Cook, Rod Menzies and Paul Fehon look over maps of the Eatonsville area during Monday?s search.

Police recover the body of missing angler

By DAVID BANCROFT

GEOFFREY Tilbrook died pursuing one of his great loves ... fishing.

Mr Tilbrook's body was recovered yesterday from the Clarence River, about two kilometres downstream from where his abandoned aluminium runabout was discovered on Monday afternoon.

Long-time friend and fishing companion, Bob Hadley, said it was an area Mr Tilbrook fished regularly for garfish and bass.

They also spent plenty of time ocean fishing.

"I just can't believe he's gone," he said.

"We were good mates. He was taking part in something he loved doing."

Mr Tilbrook was 59 years of age, and had spent all of his working life on the railways. He was employed as an XPT driver.

Another great interest was in orchids, and according to Mr Hadley, he had won a number of championships.

It was about 7.20am yesterday that Grafton detectives discovered Mr Tilbrook's body.

He had gone missing on Monday afternoon after catching shrimps for a garfishing expedition.

Companions he was to meet on the river discovered his empty runabout about 5pm Monday and raised the alarm.

A search by police, emergency service volunteers and private boat owners until dark on Monday and again all day Tuesday found only a boot he had been wearing.

Coffs/Clarence Police Superintendent Paul Fehon said that as of yesterday afternoon there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, but the body is to be transported to Lismore for a post mortem examination. A report is to be prepared for the Coroner.

Mr Tilbrook is survived by his wife, Carmel, a daughter, son and grandchildren.



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