SHE did not know him, but the disappearance of kayaker William McCallum last month was especially painful for Hobart's Julie Whayman.
For she, too, has lost a son to the sea.
Mr McCallum, from Adelaide, was last seen on Sunday, August 25, when he set off from Dover in his kayak to photograph Tasmania's South-East coastline.
Rescue parties found the 27-year-old's vessel, his gumboots, paddle and a camera lens during the search.
His body is yet to be recovered.
The incident came a year after the death of former East Devonport man Tim Whayman, who, along with deckhand and best mate Ben Clarke, drowned near Port Davey in the state's South-West.
Mrs Whayman, Tim's mum, said the disappearance of Mr McCallum two weeks ago had reopened her own emotional wounds.
``Yes, it certainly brought it all back up again,'' she said.
``Losing someone at sea . . . I don't think it's something you ever get over.
``It is awful. Words can't describe what it feels like.
``My heart definitely goes out to William's family, they'd be going through a hard time right now.''
Mrs Whayman said she believed there was still a chance Mr McCullum's body could resurface.
``Tim's body was found three weeks after he went missing,'' she said.
``It can take that long for the currents to bring things back up.''
``We'd already held a memorial service for Tim by the time his body was found, but we were thankful for that closure in the end.''
From July 2011 to June 2012, 13 people drowned in Tasmanian waterways.
The majority of victims were male and most died in the winter months, with accidents in ocean or harbour settings accounting for 46 per cent of drownings.
Mrs Whayman said Tim's friends had made a memorial for him at Silver Water Park, near Woodbridge, where he grew up.
She said she would attempt to have Tim's name inscribed on the Triabunna Seafarer's Memorial in time for the annual blessing of the fleet.
``I know a lot of people who have drowned through fishing, and you never think it is going to happen to you,'' she said.