Friends remember 'incredible guy' in paddle-out
HE TREATED strangers like family and brought joy into every life he touched.
That's how those close to Japanese man Tomoe Ogisu, 22, will remember him.
Friends of Mr Ogisu, who drowned at Fingal Head after being swept away in a strong rip earlier this week, took to the water at Kirra Beach on Friday afternoon, in a traditional Australian paddle-out.
Hayden Brock, who was staying at the Coolangatta Sands Hotel along with Mr Ogisu, said they had often gone surfing together at the popular Gold Coast break, so it seemed the perfect tribute for their "amazing” friend.
Mr Brock was in the water alongside the 22-year-old when a frantic rescue attempt began on Wednesday afternoon.
"All I could think about was getting him out,” he said.
Keito Suzuki, who had known Mr Ogisu for two years and travelled with him from Japan, took flowers to Fingal Head on Thursday and said the loss of his best friend had been difficult.
Another good friend, Stav Dahan, said a note on Mr Ogisu's board, which translates to "forget yesterday, don't worry about tomorrow”, was testament to the way he lived his life.
"Every time you'd see him he was smiling,” she said.
Logan Rickards, who also met Mr Ogisu at the backpacker accommodation, said he was "always happy and kind”.
"He was just an incredible guy,” Mr Rickards said.
Tal Gofer said she had only known Mr Ogisu for a matter of weeks, but he had left a big impression on her.
"He was so funny and he was so happy,” Ms Gofer said.
Daniela Paz said Mr Ogisu, who had been working at a sushi restaurant in Kingscliff, often brought them back food after work and would always brighten their day.
"He's family, he's like a brother,” she said.
"Tomoe is a legend.”