A popular university student and all-round athlete found dead in Lake Burley Griffin was kind hearted and cheeky, his family and friends say.
William Boyle, of Forrest, would have turned 22 on Wednesday. He went missing after attending an Oktoberfest event at the ANU with friends last Thursday night.
Mr Boyle's body was recovered from the lake by water police yesterday, but was yet to be formally identified.
Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.
Mr Boyle's wallet, mobile phone and shorts were found near the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge at Yarralumla on Saturday morning.
His father Peter Boyle said his son appeared to have accidentally drowned when ''skylarking'' after a night out with his friends.
''It was just skylarking and it's just a mistake because of alcohol,'' Mr Boyle said.
Mr Boyle said his son, also known and ''Willie'' and ''Boyles'', had been extremely popular and dozens of his friends had visited the family's Forrest home yesterday.
William Boyle's Facebook page was inundated with messages yesterday. Grieving friends, devastated by the ordeal, posted their condolences, saying he ''always looked on the bright side of life'' and was ''the type of guy to always put a smile on anyone's face''.
Mr Boyle said, ''There's many people who have happy memories of him, he's a happy-go-lucky fun-loving guy.
''It's just such a tragedy to see that someone so young has missed out on a full life.
''But he has led a full life up until now.
''He was an all round nice guy, a very caring thoughtful person who considered others' wellbeing.''
William Boyle was studying sports science and sports administration at the University of Canberra and worked as a supervisor in the Parliament House cafe.
He had taken time from studies to spend a gap year in Canada, which finished in April. He attended Canberra Grammar School and enjoyed playing cricket, tennis, golf and rugby. He made a major contribution to local rugby through refereeing.
He refereed this years' reserve grade rugby union grand final.
''Those rugby referees with their coaching and their mentoring have really brought him on so it's a big loss to our local community,'' Mr Boyle said.
William Boyle had two older brothers, James and Charles.
Mr Boyle praised the support police had given the family since William went missing. ''They have been absolutely superb,'' he said. ''We should be proud in Canberra that we've got such thoughtful and considerate police.''