‘Bright, shining light:’ Shark attack victim farewelled
Mourners wearing boardshorts and thongs celebrated the life of shark attack victim Matthew Tratt and paid tribute to the "bright, shining light."
Loved ones of Matthew, 36, joined together at Gregson and Weight's Buderim funeral home to honour the man who was fatally bitten by a shark at Fraser Island.
Revival Centres Church pastor Craig Fox said the casual dress code was to honour Matt, a man who had only ever worn a tie for his wedding.
"He was a bright, shining light to all that knew him," Mr Fox said.
"He was a guy that was only 36 but we know he lived at least 72 years in that 36 years of age, without a doubt."
His widow Kayla Tratt gave a touching eulogy to her beloved husband who she married in 2005 and had two children with, Sienna and Taj.
"He was always one to live life to the fullest and his only fears were growing old, becoming fat and lazy which definitely did not happen," she said.
"Maybe we can find some solace in knowing he bested those fears when he left us too soon."
Mrs Tratt shared countless memories of the 20 years of her life she spent with Matt, including their travel adventures and then building a family and home in the Sunshine Coast together.
"Two wonderful children, a successful business, our family home and our home away from home that floats were some of Matt's proudest accomplishments in our time together," she said.
"Matt's love for the ocean, besides his family, was his true passion.
"Whether he was surfing, boating, spearing or swimming he really did love sharing that passion with everyone he met.
"Knowing that Matt and his love of the ocean will live on in his family and friends is the perfect way to honour him and how he lived his life."
Matt's close friends, Ben, Wayne and Justin, his father-in-law, Henry and parents, Terri and John also gave eulogies.
There was a common theme of Matt having a wicked sense of humour, being honest to a fault and having an adventurous and fearless spirit.
"I'm so proud of my boy and the man he became," mum Terri Tratt said.
"I'm particularly proud of my boys in the water that day, they had each other's backs until the very end.
"We should all die knowing that we are entitled to an exceptional life and that we all gave it our best, just like Matt did."
Choking back tears, his father John Tratt reflected on Matthew's mischievous childhood and the exceptional man he grew up to become.
"The light that shines twice as bright, burns for half as long and Matthew certainly shone brightly," he said.
In his eulogy, older brother Rob shared the details of the tragic attack.
He said it happened when they were spearfishing off Indian Head at Fraser Island on July 4.
"It was beautiful, there was a small turtle. You could hear the whales under the water," Rob said.
"We hadn't even gone 5m and Matt said to me you see that dark cloud there? That's a school of jeweys. I want you to go down there and shoot the biggest one."
"I said to him you do it, I'll just watch and learn.
"I remembered he dived down and glided down to the sand and he laid still on the rocks, poised like a cheetah with the gun out in front of him, waiting for the right moment to shoot."
Rob said he remembers two huge jew fish swimming in, so he also dived in ready to shoot.
"I knew me and Matt were about to come up both celebrating smashing big jeweys," he said.
"When I came to the surface, Matt yelled 'shark attack, I've been bit.'
"We swam over to the rocks and we were only 5m away from the rocks and a big wave came and he tried to get up and the fisherman reached down.
"He was real calm and real collected. He tried to get up and grab this fisherman's hand and he was maybe three foot short.
"I found a real stable position and I said 'Matt come here, I'll help you up,' and it was at the point I realised he was motionless.
"And I just jumped in the water and rolled him over and I started getting smashed by the waves against the rocks.
"I just held his face above the water and in a quick still moment, he squeezed my hand and tilted his head over and looked me in the eyes and I just knew he said to me 'tell my family I love them'.
"And his eyes rolled back into his head, his grip left my grip and I knew that my brother had passed."
Rob said his best guess was that the shark was a 2.8m bull shark.
He said Matt was the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back, who loved his family, his God and his mates.
"I'm at peace with my brother's passing, I know I'll see him when he wakes from sleeping with the fishes," Rob said.
Mrs Tratt also read a poem.
"Matthew you were the truest love of my life, one of my greatest joys has been being your wife," she said.
"You were my soulmate, my greatest inspiration. I will truly miss your humour, kindness and dedication.
"Even in the darkest days since we've been apart, memories of your caring ways will help to lighten my heart.
"Even day I miss your smile that no one can replace, but still it brings me comfort despite the sadness I face.
"Life is full of tragedies that can never be fully explained but I know some day when the Lord returns we will meet you again.
"Until we do, I'll find the strength to live through each new day grateful for our lives together before you passed away."
Confidence by Ocean Alley echoed throughout the funeral hall as Matt's coffin was carried out.