A British-born dog breeder has died after being caught in flood waters on the outskirts of Sydney.
The body of a 68-year-old man was found in his van in Cobbity, about 43 miles southwest of Sydney’s central business district, on Friday morning, New South Wales Police said in a statement.
Father-of-two Tony Ikin was on his way to the Royal Easter Show, which will be officially opened by the Princess Royal on Saturday, when his car on Cut Hill Road was swamped by rising tides.
Camden Police Area Command officers were assisted by a helicopter, divers and the NSW State Emergency Service to recover the body, police said.
Mr Ikin was reportedly a well known and respected dog breeder and judge who was a regular at the Royal Easter Show. His Facebook page listed his place of birth as Birmingham.
His friend Robert Zammit described Mr Ikin as a “gentle soul” who would “help everyone”.
“Loved his dogs, of course, but he was just a gentle person,” he told Australian magazine Nine News.
“Tony wasn’t the person to take a risk. He left home early to come to the Royal Easter Show, it would have been dark.
“He must not have thought it too deeply.”
The surrounding region of Camden is experiencing its third flood in a month, with the Nepean River encroaching on residents and businesses.
The country declared a national emergency last month after floods swept across much of the east coast and claimed dozens of lives.
An inquest into the circumstances of Mr Ikin’s death is ongoing and a report for the coroner is being prepared.