The heartbreaking truth behind the image of three completely unremarkable empty seats at the SCG on day one of the Fifth Test has been revealed.

The Australian reports three seats in the MA Noble Stand were left empty because the seats belonged to Richard Cousins and his two sons.

The British chief executive and his two sons, William and Edward, lost their lives in the New Year's Eve seaplane crash on the Hawkesbury River.

Cousins' fiancee Emma Bowden and her 11-year-old daughter Heather were also killed in the crash.


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Experienced Canadian pilot Gareth Morgan also died in the tragedy.

The Australian reports the seats remained empty for the entire day of play.

It was reported earlier on Thursday that Cousins' brothers, Simon and Andrew, arrived in Sydney on Thursday.

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Simon and Andrew Cousins released a statement on Thursday stating they were thankful for the "outpouring of love and support" after UK businessman Richard Cousins was killed on New Year's Eve.

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"We are fortunate and thankful for the outpouring of love and support we've received from across the world," Simon and Andrew Cousins said.

"We have now arrived in Australia and as the investigation continues we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those involved for their dedication and commitment."

The pair praised, in particular, Sydney water police and members of the public who helped on the day of the crash.

The siblings also thanked everyone in Australia who expressed their condolences.

Richard Cousins was the chief executive of the world's largest food catering company, Compass Group, and a keen cricket fan.

The body of the seaplane was lifted almost 15 metres from the riverbed onto a barge on Thursday afternoon.

The wreckage will be taken ashore and transported by truck to a secure facility to be examined by Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators.

— with AAP