A 34-year-old devoted father of a young girl has been identified by his family as the second York Region resident killed in a tragic boat collision on Lake Ontario June 1.
Julio Abrantes, of Richmond Hill, and Newmarket’s Megan Wu, 24, were killed in Toronto Harbour when the boat they were riding in hit a rock formation.
Abrantes’s sister, Sandra, described her brother as a “legend”.
“Anyone who knew him can vouch for that. He was so full of life, charismatic, charming, handsome and, overall, a man of respect, integrity and honour,” she said.
“He lit up any room he walked into, he changed lives and (was) always willing to help anyone in need. He always had the best advice.”
Abrantes leaves behind his daughter, Mya Rose, who turned four just five days after her father died.
“His closest family and friends knew how much she meant to him.” Sandra said. “She was his world.”
He is also survived by his parents, Antonio and Helena, whom he “adored wholeheartedly” and always took care of, Sandra said.
Abrantes and his siblings, Catia, Sandra and Carlos, were the best of friends.
He was also a loving uncle and godfather.
Abrantes was a talented poker player and a “creative genius” with a great mind for innovation and negotiations, Sandra said.
She said her brother lived the last years of his life to the fullest and was an inspiration to many. He had a bright future ahead, she said.
“He will forever be engraved in his family’s hearts as the Abrantes family, a known family of six, has now become a family of five,” Sandra said.
“All we have left are his memories to hold onto and cherish as our family continues to grieve his loss with a tremendous amount of pain and emptiness. We are learning to accept it was his destiny and that he will continue to guide his daughter, mom, dad, only brother and two sisters for the rest of our lives and will guide his family to have his mission carried out on his soul’s behalf.”
A friend, who did not want to be publicly named, described Abrantes in glowing terms.
“He was so much more than a victim of a boat crash,” the friend said. “He was magnetic, charming, charismatic. You knew you’d never meet anybody like that in your life again as soon as you’d met him.”
“Impossible not to like him. Impossible not to smile around; his positive energy was contagious. Impossible to have a bad time if he was there. Always making sure everyone was okay; always making sure everyone was taken care of. The happiest, most vibrant, dedicated, hard-working person I knew.”
The boat Abrantes and Wu were on crashed in the early hours of June 1.
Later that day, police divers searched in the water, but it took them a few hours to bring in heavy equipment to lift the capsized boat out.
While eight people had been rescued, Abrantes and Wu were found dead inside the boat.