Bendigo man dies in boat tragedy

Ian Baker.
Ian Baker.

BENDIGO man Ian Baker has been remembered as a cheerful and driven person who was always in a good mood.

Mr Baker, 44, was killed in a speed boat accident in Sydney's north on Saturday.

He was taking part in the Bridge to Bridge race trial waterskiing event on Sydney's Hawkesbury River.

He was the observer on the boat, which was towing two waterskiers at the time.

The boat lost control and flipped about 11.45am.

New South Wales ambulance paramedics attempted to revive Mr Baker, but he died at the scene.

Boat driver Daniel McMahon was airlifted to Westmead Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The two waterskiers swam to shore and were uninjured.

Mr Baker was a husband to Joanne and father to four young daughters.

He was head observer for the successful 99 Psycho Clowns team that won the world championships open men's trophy in Tenerife, Spain, last year.

He also worked as Telstra area general manager.

Friend Todd Newman, a former waterskier who knew Mr Baker through the sport and Maiden Gully community, where both men lived, said Mr Baker was a positive and outgoing person.

"He was always in a good frame of mind, always in a good mood," Mr Newman said.

"He was always a positive person to be around - good to have a chat with and talk about the sport and family.

"His personality reflected on where he went in his career, as a father and in the sport - he gives 100 per cent.

"(His) focus was to get to that end result and that was how he tackled life."

Mick Pay, Mr Baker's 99 Psycho Clowns teammate and close friend, said Mr Baker was a "great mate".

"We raced together for a long time and we were a tight bunch of mates," he said.

"He was a family man - he loved his wife and loved his kids."

Mr Baker had been involved in waterskiing for 25 years, originally as a waterskier but transitioning to an observer - the person who sits in the boat to assist the driver and waterskiers - about five years ago.


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