Shark attack victim’s life to be celebrated via livestream

THE life of a Queensland Parks and Wildlife ranger who was killed in a shark attack earlier this month will be celebrated today with his school live-streaming the ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Zach Robba, 23, was attacked by a shark off North West Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef on April 6 and was flown to Gladstone Hospital with life threatening injuries before succumbing to those injuries later that night.

Mr Robba's former high school, Iona College in Brisbane's Wynnum West will host the ceremony from 10am today, where only 10 people can attend due to social distancing rules.

In a heartfelt video issued the day after Mr Robba's passing on behalf of Iona College, Fr Michael Twigg said the loss was made harder by current circumstances.

"We have a Zach-shaped hole in our hearts," he said.

Zach Robba was killed in a shark attack off North West Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Supplied
Zach Robba was killed in a shark attack off North West Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Supplied

"Ordinarily we would be gathering in great numbers here at the school to offer support and comfort and care, but obviously in this era we don't have that possibility."

The school hoped streaming the service would give the opportunity for extended family and friends to grieve and farewell their mate.

The Wynnum Bugs Rugby Union Club, who the Robba family had a long association with, also paid tribute to the man his family said died "doing what he loved".

Facebook image of Zach Robba.
Facebook image of Zach Robba.

"Zach's father Peter played senior rugby at the club and his brother Max was a longstanding junior," a Bugs spokesman said.

"Peter also assisted in coaching the junior teams that Max played in. Zach if fondly remembered by the club, particularly during the period that his father was playing in the Friday night Normanby Cup.

"In his early teens Zach was ball boy for the Normanby Cup side and he helped out where he could around the club. The Bugs community is saddened by his passing and sends condolences to the Robba family."

The stream will start at 10am on the school's YouTube channel here.

Originally published as Shark attack victim's life to be celebrated via livestream