Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Friend Cherished after Tragic Jump

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Friend Cherished after Tragic Jump

Article excerpt

THE family and friends of Nick Manz are comforting each other with memories of a loyal friend, devoted partner and caring son and brother.

They want the world to know those qualities but it's also important to them that people learn the circumstances of his untimely death.

Nick Manz, 24, died on November 2 after he dived from a cliff into water at the old Swanbank coal mine site.

His family and friends say they have been hurt by rumours that Nick was drunk, he did the jump as a dare or that he was "just a bloody idiot".

Nick's girlfriend Liza Mogensen said he spent two weeks talking about the jump and it was "something he would never get over until he did it".

"It was something in his nature; he always wanted something bigger and better," Liza said.

"He was so fun-loving, even brushing his teeth he could make seem the most fun thing in the world. He loved his hiking, surfing, anything outdoors."

Risk-taking was as much a part of Nick's life as being a good mate, son and boyfriend. He needed adrenaline rushes in his life.

Kurt Biddle, a friend who was one of five people with Nick at Swanbank, said Nick "knew what he was doing" that day.

"It wasn't like he'd been drinking then said: 'Let's go and do something stupid'. He threw a boulder in to break the water but then he waited," Kurt said.

His mother Debbie said she didn't want people thinking he was "out there drunk or full of drugs or someone paid him 50 bucks to jump".

"It wasn't random; it had been planned," Debbie said.

"I didn't know about any of these jumps because he knew I'd have my say about it and he didn't want to worry me."

Debbie said her son was "very fun-loving", cared about family and "just loved life to its fullest".

The divorce and her breast cancer diagnosis in 2000 were two defining events in his life.

While he didn't talk to his mother about it, his girlfriend said he spoke to her and his friends about how the spectre of breast cancer affected him.

"He was really worried about it with the women in his life. It really scared him," Liza said.

"When my mother met him, she said: 'He just has that respect for women'. …

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