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Indomitable spirit with diving in his blood

Winning personality: former diver Ian Mackie

Ian Mackie, a popular former diver who worked as caretaker on the property of Michael Douglas, has been named by police as the 48-year-old man found in an unresponsive state on Sunday at the Warwick home.

The son of veteran diver Doug Mackie, he was recalled by friend Graham Maddocks as a big-hearted and indomitable man who had persevered admirably through the loss of his legs because of medical issues about two years ago.

“It didn’t stop him; he was a charger,” Mr Maddocks told The Royal Gazette.

“His passion was his family. Once he lost his legs, he could not participate in the boating world, but he was always interested in what was going on.”

Shocked at his friend’s abrupt passing after a successful year and a half of painstaking physical rehabilitation, Mr Maddocks said he had just sung at the 23-year anniversary of Mr Mackie and his wife, Aracely. He is also survived by his daughter, Cecilia.

Mr Mackie’s lifetime on the water began at his father’s dive business, and he was known to many through his work, including commercial diving, through the family business, Mackie Marine.

“The water and diving were rich in Ian’s blood, and our friendship bonded on the water and on barges,” Mr Maddocks recalled.

“He loved Central and South America; his wife is originally from Honduras. He was very well travelled and loved everywhere he went.”

Well read and known for his quick wit, Mr Mackie was skilled at taking on new business, obtaining a certification as a butler and studying property management.

“He worked with some big names before the Douglases, but when that position came, he got it,” Mr Maddocks said. “He had a winning personality.”

Although the Douglas residence was up for sale, Mr Mackie was still tending for the residences at the Longford Road, Warwick estate.

He was discovered there at about 2.30pm on Sunday and pronounced dead shortly thereafter at the hospital, police said, with foul play not suspected.

Funeral arrangements are to be announced.