WHAT A CATCH: Wedded couple who 'hooked up at the HookUp'
MOST residents would think of the Boyne Tannum HookUp as a great fishing competition, but for Adele and Christopher Stephens it was the start of a beautiful romance.
The pair met in 2012 when then 18-year-old Adele from Brisbane was in hospital to have her daughter Serenity.
With heart and lung complications, at 29 weeks pregnant Adele went into full cardiac arrest and was resuscitated.
She gave birth to her first child, weighing 1.3kg. Serenity was placed into the neonatal unit on life support.
Just metres away was then 20-year-old Christopher, who was also caring for a sick, premature baby with his former partner. The pair met and bonded over their critically ill children but eventually went their separate ways when Christopher returned home.
It was Adele's love of fishing that led her to attending the Boyne Tannum HookUp in 2013, unsure if she would meet Christopher again.
"When I flew up to the HookUp I was extremely nervous. I wasn't sure what to think and how things would go," she said.
"When I first met Christopher I had absolutely no intentions on spending the rest of my life with him as I had so much going on in my life that relationships were not in the picture.
"It was 2013 in March, Christopher sent me a text message asking how I was going and we just got talking over the phone for hours on end being 600km away from each other. We just would talk and talk."
It was under the HookUp fireworks where the couple shared their first kiss and since then have been entangled like old fishing line.
"The HookUp is something Chris and myself attended every year," Mrs Stephens said.
"Chris has been going to the HookUp ever since he was old enough to enter and since we hooked up at the HookUp, this means the absolute world to us, and that we can get our daughter involved means even more."
Now six years old, Serenity is as keen a fisher as her parents.
"Serenity is going OK now - still has a fair amount of hospital appointments but we get there. She is a strong-willed girl and will fight every battle," Mrs Stephens said.
"Serenity absolutely loves fishing.
"Every weekend she is out there wanting to go fishing with daddy."
Adele and Christopher were married on December 14 last year in Brisbane and have settled down in Gladstone.
"We are very very glad we hooked up at the HookUp," Mrs Stephens said.