Shark victim loved beers, breaks and banter
NICK Slater's passion for life was unrivalled and inspiring.
He lived for Sunday afternoon lunches at the surf club with friends, for his work as one of the coast's most recognised real estate agents, and for surfing the very waters that on Tuesday would ultimately cost the 46-year-old his life in a cruel and unfair turn of fate.
Mr Slater died doing what he loved, when he lost his life to a predator of the ocean that tore through waters at Greenmount Beach just after 5pm on Tuesday.
The shark inflicted horrific injuries to the avid adventurer, who died on the sand just moments later, despite the mammoth efforts of bystanders.
Within hours of the traumatic event, Mr Slater's friends would learn of the tragic loss of their mate.
A lone car in the beach carpark the signalling the start of their worst nightmare.
"I'll never forget the look on Dave's face as we found your car last night alone in the car park, confirmation of our worst nightmare," Mr Slater's good friend Jasmine Robson yesterday wrote online.
"Everything left just how you have left it 100 times before.
"(Us) expecting (you) to be back in an hour after catching a few waves."
Miss Robson told The Courier-Mail Sundays were spent catching up with Mr Slater down at their local surf club.
They'd eat lunch and have a few drinks together over "a lot of banter."
"It is so hard to comprehend that out of all the blokes in the line-up yesterday, that shark picked the best one," Miss Robson said.
"Nick was loved by all that knew him. (He was a) fun loving guy who lived in the water and relished every moment …. (He had an) infectious personality and smile."
Miss Robson said that as tragic as her mate's passing was, she took some solace in knowing he died doing what he loved.
A quote on Mr Slater's personal Instagram account showed of his love for adventuring the outdoors.
"Just give me sunshine through the autumn, sweet snow to the spring," the quote said.
An old friend yesterday remembered his time exploring overseas with Mr Slater.
The pair met in the 1990s.
"Nick was an awesome person and mate for like 25 years," Larry Dawson said of his long-time buddy, who he had met in Bali.
"We jumped on the bike from Kuta to Canggu. Both (of the men over) six foot.
"Nick had a board under each arm.
"(We) got great waves that day. Will never forget our great times together surfing and having beers."
Not only was Mr Slater well loved by his fellow surfing community, but so too by his business opposition, in an industry notorious for its competitive nature.
Tony Velissaruio from Tony V Real Estate worked alongside Mr Slater and said he was very well respected within the real estate community in Mermaid Beach.
"He was always very approachable and a very liked member of the community," he said.
"Everything is a competition in real estate but Nick was one of those guys that you could just call up and have a chat, he was good to work with.
"I think we'll all band together in some extent and it just brings more awareness of how precious life is."
Mr Slater was also remembered by those he'd never met, who shared one common link.
"We surfed the same waters, but I didn't know you," wrote one Gold Coast local who learned of the fellow surfer's passing in horrific circumstances.
"We are bound by the ocean so I salute you because the one thing I know for sure is that you died doing what you loved doing. I will surf on in your honour."
Newcastle band The Fools have shared a tribute on social media, asking loved ones to take a moment to reflect and commemorate Mr Slater's life on Wednesday.
"It is with much regret to advise that our mate Nick was tragically taken from us in a shark attack yesterday," they wrote.
"Nick was a great friend to the band".
"To all that surfed, worked, lived, and partied with Nick over the years, please take some time today to reflect on his life and the great times we shared with him. Ride on mate".
Originally published as Mate loved beers, breaks and banter