FRIENDS of a backpacker missing in Australia after leaping 30ft from a bridge, say he is ‘one of a kind’.
Dale Rehr, from Horndean, has not been seen since Sunday after the stunt in Brisbane.
After four days with no sightings of the 30-year-old, the latest reports from Queensland police say it is now a ‘recovery’, rather than a rescue operation.
According to the Brisbane Times, a group of backpackers watched as Dale took a running jump from the William Jolly Bridge.
The former Horndean Technology College pupil started working at IT and security company Forum Group, in Brisbane, after months spent backpacking.
One pal from Horndean has been friends with the keen sportsman since they were 14.
He sees the positive and fun side of everythingA friend
He said: ‘Dale is one of my oldest and best friends. We have lived together and grown up together.
‘Everyone is devastated. Dale is basically a unicorn – there is no one else on the planet like him.
‘Any time you see him, be it at the library or the pub, he will make the most boring environment fun.
‘Everyone who knows him can remember the very first time they met him because he makes such an impact on people.
‘He sees the positive and fun side of everything.’
Dale has a wide network of friends across the area and through his globe-trotting, has friends around the world.
As well as previously playing for Hambledon Cricket Club, he has competed in triathlons.
Another friend said: ‘He is one of the most fantastic blokes you could ever wish to meet – always smiling and having fun.
‘Dale is one of those guys who you wouldn’t see for ages but when you did it was like he had never been away.
‘He is a good looking bloke, a charmer with the ladies.
‘I met him because he was best friends with one of my friends. It’s just devastating.’
Dale disappeared on Sunday night after a night of drinking at his hostel, according to the Brisbane Times.
A group of backpackers watched as Dale took a running jump from the William Jolly Bridge into the river below, resurfacing once before sinking out of sight.
One of those with him, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘We feel horrible for egging him on to go and do it. We thought he would be fine because we did it a couple of weeks ago.
‘His flip-flops are still sitting upstairs – we’re all shattered at the moment.’
Security company Forum Group’s national security manager Jake Meredith said his that Dale had previously witnessed others jumping into the Brisbane River and said he did not ‘want to get in any trouble’ while in Australia by following suit.
In a statement a spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: ‘We can confirm that local authorities in Brisbane, Australia, are searching for a British national reported missing on January 17.
‘Consular staff are in contact with the family in the UK and are offering support at this difficult time.’
Dale’s parents were too upset to speak to The News.