Cruel twist of fate in mystery of missing Boyne Island man
EVERY minute of every day since her husband Craig Gordon went missing has been a living nightmare for Boyne Island's Hanan Bekhou.
Desperately holding onto hope, Hanan and the couple's daughter Sabrina have put Craig's shirt at the dining room table on his chair, so it is like he is sitting there eating with them at each meal.
Craig left home on Wednesday, November 11 to go fishing and do a job for a woman on Curtis Island.
The avid crab and line fisherman's white Mazda dual cab utility, Queensland registration 522ZTD (pictured below) and boat trailer was found at Gladstone marina carpark on November 17, after a search was launched for the 62 year old.
His boat was found on Balaclava Island, near the northern end of Curtis Island, the same day.
Mrs Bekhou met Mr Gordon in her native country of Morocco in 2010, and moved to Australia the following year before they got married.
In 2013 the couple had a baby girl, Sabrina, who is their world.
Approaching the end of a three week swing off work from his job as a marine engineer at Smit Lamnalco was when Mr Gordon asked Hanan to go to Curtis Island for 'a couple of days'.
In a cruel twist of fate, Mr Gordon had been asked to make a sign commemorating people lost at sea.
"A lady had asked him to go to Curtis Island to make a sign with names of people who died at sea for the cemetery on the island," Hanan said.
"He wanted us all to go, but I told him 'no, you go by yourself, I don't want our daughter to miss school'.
"I told him not to go because for two weeks before that he had a headache and he had been dizzy.
"I told him he should be going to see the doctor instead.
"But he said nobody would help this old lady (known only as Claire) and he would be too busy once he started back at work."
It was common for Mr Gordon to go away for up to three days at a time, fishing or to a friends farm at Yeppoon.
Previously, Hanan said she had been unable to contact her husband as his mobile phone had gone flat.
But by 4pm on Friday November 13, she said she had a shocking feeling something had gone wrong with her husband.
Mr Gordon had set out in his tinny, hoping to catch a bounty of crabs.
"On Friday morning he called me and I asked him what time he would be picking up Sabrina from school," she said.
"I asked him if he would be having lunch or dinner at home and he said he was waiting for the right tide.
"He said I will come back on Friday but I'm not sure what time.
"I called him on Friday night but his phone wasn't working."
On Saturday morning Hanan said she woke feeling sick with worry and tried to call her husband, again without success.
Over the weekend friends frantically searched for Mr Gordon, as Hanan became extremely worried not being able to hear her husband's voice.
"I called the police on Monday and they came to my house for two hours and asked me questions," she said.
"On Tuesday the police came back and said they were getting helicopters from Cairns, a plane with a thermal imaging camera and there were five boats searching."
Fearing the worst, Hanan said she was desperate for answers.
"I felt very scared and so alone because I have always just stayed at home and cooked, cleaned, looked after our daughter and him," she said.
When the police delivered the news his boat had been found, Hanan said she still didn't give up hope.
"The police said they found a footprint on Balaclava Island but they think it was someone who came over and looked at his boat," she said.
"The kill switch was still in the motor of the boat and there were no crab traps in it.
"But my husband and his bag with his mobile phone and wallet were gone."
After almost a week without seeing her husband, Hanan said things were getting scary and desperate.
"I felt sick, I had depression and panic attacks," she said.
"When I closed my eyes at night to sleep I was very scared.
"Before Craig disappeared all of our bank accounts were in his name.
"The police said they can't give me access to any money because it's all in his name."
Next week friends are taking Hanan to see a solicitor in an effort to get legal assistance.
"I went to Centrelink and they asked for a police report, so I called Jeff from the police and I got the missing persons report number," she said.
"Centrelink said we will take the missing person's report number, but they were not sure whether they could process my application."
Without an official death certificate, Mr Gordon's finances are frozen.
Hanan said she was extremely stressed about bills that would mount.
"The police said it could be up to a year before we get a coroners report," she said.
"I worry about the water, food, bills, the rates and the power because I don't know how I will pay them."
Resigned to the fact she may not see her husband again, Hanan still hasn't given up hope completely.
"The best thing that could happen would be for Craig to come home," she said.
"The police said he has probably been eaten by a crocodile or a shark.
"Every car that me and Sabrina hear we look to see if it is Craig.
"We have put his shirt at the dining room table on his chair, so it is like he is sitting and eating with us.
"If Craig can't come back, the best thing for us would be to get access to some money."