January 01, 2013 1:55PM
A MOTHER who fell to her death from a vessel anchored in Sydney Harbour had only owned the “dream boat” for three months, her devastated family said.
Mother of four Leanne Maurer, 49, slipped overboard the luxury boat early yesterday, and drowned in water off the Rose Bay wharf.
She had kissed her youngest two children goodnight and tucked them into bed, then said she was going to the rear of the boat for one last cigarette, before she called it a night.
Her heartbroken husband David said the 40-ft Riviera was he and his wife’s “absolute dream”, and they had only purchased it from QLD in October.
“We thought we’d have many, many happy years on it together…but I guess that wasn’t to be,” Mr Maurer said.
Mr Maurer said he believes his wife may have gone up the front of the boat to fix a skylight which had blown open in the wind, and stumbled overboard.
“I don’t know, that’s one thing I think could have happened. How do you know.”
“She had enjoyed a few drinks, and was merry, but she wasn’t drunk,” he said.
Mr Maurer said the family had anchored at Rose Bay about 5pm on Sunday, cooked dinner and watched a movie.
“I guess it was about midnight, Leanne tucked the kids into bed…I said I was calling it a night too.”
“But she said she was having one last smoke,” he said.
When he woke to a running pump sound on the boat about 2am, Mrs Maurer was gone.
“I thought “has someone on another boat picked her up”, but I knew she wouldn’t do that,” he said.
Her body was found near the nearby ferry jetty a few hours later.
Police said there are no suspicious circumstances, and a report will be prepared for the coroner.
Yesterday, a brother and sister woke to discover their mother had vanished.
Their confusion turned to despair several hours later when the woman’s body was found – about 500m from where she disappeared.
The woman’s frantic husband woke his children about 2am, informing them their 49-year-old mother was nowhere to be found on the $500,000 pleasure cruiser Tornado, which had been positioned at Rose Bay ahead of the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Police said the woman, from Carlingford, had remained on the rear deck of the boat after her husband and two children, aged 14 and 12, went to bed.
Two hours later the husband woke up and, noticing his wife was not in bed, went up to the deck. When it became obvious his wife was no longer aboard, the man woke his children and called triple-0.
The family was taken to shore on a water police vessel
while a search unfolded for the missing mum.
The man and his children clung to hope the woman, who was a competent swimmer, might have made her way to shore safely.
But, just after 6am, a woman’s body was discovered floating beneath the jetty next to the restaurant.
She was soon confirmed as the missing mother. Last night relatives visited Glebe morgue to formally identify her body.
A post mortem examination to determine how she died will be carried out tomorrow.
Police yesterday said, while it was unclear how the woman left the boat, they believe it was an accident and there were no suspicious circumstances. Detective Inspector Darren Schott from the NSW Police Maritime Area Command said investigators had been told the woman had been drinking on the boat prior to her disappearance, although it was unknown how much alcohol she had consumed.
A plastic wine glass remained on a table at the back of the vessel as forensic officers examined it yesterday.
“You can be a competent swimmer but when alcohol is involved, regardless of how much, that can change things,” Insp Schott said.
The boat was anchored about 500m from the Rose Bay wharf – surrounded by dozens of other boats which had snapped up the best vantage spots for the fireworks – but no one witnessed the woman fall into the water.
Insp Schott said the accident was a reminder to all boaters about the dangers of drinking on the water.
“We want to remind everyone that boating and alcohol don’t mix,” he said.
The boat was towed to the water police headquarters at Balmain for a full examination, the results of which will be given to the coroner.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
351555 413959 55
her path of destiny = 55 = Bad idea.
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predictions for the year 2013 are at: