Friends of Katelyn Taylor mourn her loss on Marcoola Beach. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Friends of Katelyn Taylor mourn her loss on Marcoola Beach. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

Parents remember a bright, promising girl

CRAIG and Gaylene Taylor will always remember their eldest daughter as an independent young woman with an eye for fun and a determination to succeed.

Just four weeks after making the big move to the Sunshine Coast from Tasmania, Katelyn Taylor was taken from her parents too soon.

The 19-year-old, who lived on campus at Unicentral at Sippy Downs, drowned in the surf in the early hours of Sunday morning at Marcoola.

"I just had to come here, I wanted to come here to see where it happened," Mrs Taylor said.

"At least now I know the spot."

Katelyn's father Craig recalled the independent and confident nature of his daughter, who had a dream to study in the United States since she was a little girl.

"We let her go and she navigated her way through LA airport all by herself making her way to Seattle when she was 15," Mr Taylor said.

Katelyn Taylor.
Katelyn Taylor.

Katelyn's parents said their daughter, one of three girls, grew up by the beach, spending her time before school at rowing practice.

She worked hard at school and at her part-time jobs and made friends easily.

Her genuine and likeable nature shone when she moved to the Coast to start at Bachelor in Primary Education at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

"She loved working with kids in Seattle and with 90 tertiary points, she was in the top 10% of students at her school, so she could have studied anywhere really," Mr Taylor said.

"She had a bright future, but it's all gone now."

Mrs Taylor treasures hearing how happy her daughter was when they last spoke on Saturday afternoon.

She said Katelyn was excited to be at university and looking forward to enjoying her time living on the Sunshine Coast.

"She was a beautiful girl," Mrs Taylor said.

GRIEVING PARENTS: Craig and Gaylene Taylor mourn the loss of their daughter Katelyn (inset), who drowned at Marcoola Beach.
GRIEVING PARENTS: Craig and Gaylene Taylor mourn the loss of their daughter Katelyn (inset), who drowned at Marcoola Beach. Warren Lynam

Since a Facebook page was established in Katelyn's memory, dozens of family and friends have remembered the beautiful and bubbly girl they loved so much.

Her parents hope to take their girl back home to Tasmania for a funeral soon.

But mystery still surrounds why Katelyn was at the beach and went into the surf between 3am and 5am.

Lifeguards told The Daily the peak of the weekend's mega swell would have hit at the same time Katelyn went for a swim.

Police are eager to speak with a 21-year-old man whose car crashed on David Low Way at Marcoola about 3am on Sunday in a separate incident. He is in an induced coma in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

A Police Media spokesman said yesterday the driver and Katelyn were known to each other and were "socialising" with friends at Mooloolaba and Marcoola Beach moments before the tragic drowning death.

Mrs Taylor believes Katelyn was clubbing in Mooloolaba when she made friends with a group of people living or staying at Marcoola Beach.


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