‘A huge shock’: Popular Coast surfer dies in Bali
FRIENDS of Gold Coast man Steve Smithers, who died of a heart attack while surfing in Bali yesterday, have described him as "a great bloke" and "a strong, fit and strapping" man who stayed active and looked after himself.
"It's come as a huge shock," good friend Rod Lambert said. "I've known Steve for years and he's a great bloke, salt of the earth."
Mr Lambert said the sad news of his death had been flowing through their large network of friends, but said he was yet to speak to Mr Smithers's wife Lizzie.
"He was supposedly surfing and he's had a monstrous heart attack, but I don't have all the details yet," he said.
"He's a big fit lad, strong and tall, he's about 6"3 6"4 and he's always kept himself in good order with boxing and surfing."
Mr Smithers, a father of three, was well known in the motor industry, having owned a truck dealership on Ferry Road.
Mr Lambert said they had done business together in the 1990s, when Mr Lambert sold a few of his properties through his real estate office.
"We had some dealings then, but we also knew each other through our kids and their schools.
"His son Scott was with our son at TSS while his daughter Kaitlin, and we have a Kaitlin as well, well they went to St Hildas.
"He's old Gold Coast, he's been here as long as I have and that's 1974. I can't remember a time when I didn't know him."
Another friend, John Green said he heard the news this morning and had been trying to find out more about what happened in his second home of Bali.
"I've known Steve forever, we grew up together," he said. "He's a great guy, he will be sadly missed."
Mr Smithers's Facebook page has a profile picture of himself and wife Lizzie, resplendent in white and in the "About" section, he said he was "living on Gold Coast and semi retired, having a great time with my family and loving life. It's too short not to."
His favourite quote is listed as: "I love Bali."