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People Came Together To Help A Widowed Old Man Find A Fishing Buddy And It's So Touching

Not only did he find a buddy, he caught a huge fish.

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Ray Johnstone, a pensioner from Adelaide, Australia, made headlines last month when he posted a listing on Gumtree looking for a fishing mate.

Facebook: ray.johnstone.771

Johnstone's previous fishing mate died in a car crash several years ago, and one of his friends suggested he use Gumtree to search for a new companion.

"My name is Ray Johnstone," he wrote. "Australian. I'm a widowed pensioner who is looking for a fishing mate. My previous mate is now deceased.

"I am a land-based fisherman. I have all the gear for all types of fish that is required for land-based fishing."

"What I want is a fishing mate in a similar position to myself who also wants someone to go fishing with. I am willing to share all costs, e.g. petrol, bait, and should you happen to own a boat [I am] willing to pay all ramp fees, but happy if you are also a land-based fisherman."

Johnstone's original ad went hugely viral, as people across Australia campaigned to find a fishing mate for the pensioner. He ended up receiving over 55,000 applications.

The widowed Sth Aus pensioner who took to Gumtree to find a fishing mate, after his friend died, has had more than… https://t.co/h8JJt5li3M

People were seriously moved by the whole thing.

And the hashtag #illfishwithray took off.

I wish I was in Adelaide buddy #illfishwithray

He has just one criteria for a fishing buddy: that we get along. Aww- heartwarming. #illfishwithray https://t.co/PEHiTbsXyO

I've only been fishing twice in my life but if I lived in Adelaide, I'd definitely go fishing with Ray ❤️ #illfishwithray

The Internet was made for #illfishwithray.

Eventually, 22-year-old Mati Batsinilas, from Brisbane, saw the ad and decided to fly Johnstone to Queensland, where he and a bunch of other people took him on a fishing tour around Stradbroke Island.

"I just want to thank everyone for their kind words and remind you all that this was a family effort, not just mine," wrote Batsinilas on Facebook. "Without my family I would be nothing."

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

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