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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

'Cheeky' James remembered

The family of a Shepparton man who drowned at Waranga Basin this month has paid to tribute to their son and partner.

CHLOE WARBURTON January 16, 2014 4:26am

Missed: James Fasham, who drowned at Waranga Basin on January 2, with his brother Ian.


 

Father-of-five James Fasham, 28, attempted to swim 1.5km to the shore when the boat he was in failed to start.

The search was called off on January 7 and a local fisherman found James’ body on January 8.

His partner Amy Walker was in the boat with James, their nine-month-old daughter Alana and his brother Ian, when the boat stopped working.

‘‘He said he was going to go get help and I said ‘James don’t do it, you’ve got Alana on the boat’... I said, ‘you’ll die’,’’ Amy told The News yesterday.

‘‘He tried to swim back and said the current was too big. I could see him shivering, I yelled at him to come back, but he couldn’t hear me.’’

James went under the water and came back up once, but he went under a second time and was not seen again.

Passer-bys towed the boat with Amy, Ian and Alana back to shore and the alarm was raised.

‘‘I kept looking at the water, asking James to come back,’’ Amy said.

‘‘I’d like to thank the people who helped find James, especially the fisherman who found him. Now we can lay him to rest.’’

James’ father Kerry Fasham said he was devastated to lose his son, but wanted to thank the emergency services and locals who searched for days, as well as Rushworth police Sergeant Noel Gleeson.

‘‘We just want to say thanks for all the help — they really put a good effort in,’’ he said.

‘‘The locals that kept looking after emergency services finished were amazing. People with jetskis came from Melbourne and were still looking for him.

‘‘They were caring — they looked after us and made sure we were eating and drinking.’’

Mr Fasham said James was an good son and a good mate.

‘‘He was the kid that helped me fix the car all the time,’’ he said.

‘‘He loved doing all that stuff. I saw him a lot.’’

Amy said James was a caring father and a loving partner.

‘‘He always had a smile on his face,’’ she said.

‘‘He was always cheeky — there was always a finger up or a tongue poking out. He loved a good time, he was a good person. He always wanted to help.’’

James leaves behind daughter Alana, as well as four children from a previous relationship — Elisha, Conner, Crystal and Kaitlyn.

The funeral for James Fasham will be on Saturday, January 18, at Kittle Bros in Maude St at 10.30am.

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