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Port Lincoln rallies around Melissa Little after husband Damien Little drives car off wharf killing their two boys

The South Australian fishing town of Port Lincoln has rallied around a young mother after her husband deliberately drove his car off a wharf killing himself and their two young boys.

Police on Tuesday released photos of the Little family a day after Damien Little and his sons, Koda, four, and Hunter, nine months, were pulled from the water off a Port Lincoln wharf on the Eyre Peninsula.

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Town in mourning after wharf tragedy

Tributes are lining the wharf of a South Australian country town where two young boys were killed when their father sent the family station wagon plunging to the bottom of the ocean.

Mr Little deliberately drove the family station wagon off the wharf and into 30-metre-deep water in a murder-suicide bid.

His family has now revealed the 34-year-old had suffered with mental health issues for the past three years.

Damien, Melissa, Koda and Hunter Little. Mr Little deliberately drove off the wharf in a murder-suicide.
Damien, Melissa, Koda and Hunter Little. Mr Little deliberately drove off the wharf in a murder-suicide. Photo: South Australia police

"We had noticed a change," his mother Sue told the Adelaide Advertiser.

"We tried to help him, we all did. But you can't help somebody who can't help himself."

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Lincoln South Football Club president Brenton Dennis said the entire community's thoughts were with the boys' mother Melissa Little.

"Our hearts go out to Mel. I wouldn't want anyone to be in the position she's in at the moment," he told the ABC. "It's just tragic and our hearts are with them and they're in our thoughts and our prayers."

Koda, 4, and Hunter Little, nine months, were killed after their father drove the family station wagon off a wharf.
Koda, 4, and Hunter Little, nine months, were killed after their father drove the family station wagon off a wharf. Photo: South Australia police

The station wagon was seen driving off the wharf just after 6am on Monday. Police recovered the three bodies more than six hours later. A rifle was also found inside the vehicle.

The end of the wharf on Tuesday became a makeshift memorial as family, friends and members of the community laid flowers and stuffed toys for the two boys.

"It's just numbed the whole community. I just ask everyone to give the families all their love and respect and space that they need at this time," Mr Dennis told the ABC.

"I also ask everyone that you think about how our lives are at the moment and just put ourselves in their position and let's all make a promise to never let this happen again."

South Australian Commissioner for Victims' Rights Michael O'Connell said the heart-wrenching incident had caused anguish for the family and friends.

"But also to many who find murder by a parent to be among the cruellest of tragedies," he said.

"As people seek to come to terms with what has happened, they should be careful not to victim-blame.

"We do not know the reasons Damien did what he appears to have done and speculating helps neither the family nor the people of Port Lincoln."

Port Lincoln Mayor Bruce Green said the past 24 hours had been the worst day of his working life.

"This has taken everyone by surprise. It's a dreadful thing," he said.

"People are really trying to understand how this tragic event could have occurred.

"Apart from supporting family and friends, the next thing we need is how do we deliver support in the community to ensure these things don't happen in the future."

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Fairfax Media with AAP