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Two people found dead in dam in tragic Australia Day drownings

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Updated

January 27, 2018 14:17:31

Police say partygoers searching for a missing friend in a far north Queensland dam instead found the body of a teenage boy who had not been reported as missing.

Kirsty Cini, 24, entered the dam with friends on a 40-metre water slide during an Australia Day party on a property in Julattan, north-west of Cairns.

Acting Inspector Rob Campbell said Ms Cini was seen to go limp as she entered the water and her friends became concerned when she did not surface.

But it was the body of a 15-year-old boy which was found first by people at the party.

He had last been seen 20 minutes earlier but had not been noticed as missing.

Inspector Campbell said the party was an annual event and police were called to the property shortly after 4:00pm.

Police arriving at the scene then located Ms Cini’s body a short time later.

Inspector Campbell said paramedics made extensive efforts to revive them but both were pronounced dead at the scene.

“With the boy we have no information to indicate he was on the slide but that’s what we hope to uncover,” he said.

Ms Cini’s parents have rushed from Brisbane to Cairns after learning of her death.

It is understood Ms Cini lived north of Brisbane and worked in Caboolture.

Her stepfather Bruce Baker described her as “outgoing and very active and very happy 99 per cent of the time”.

“[We are] just coming to terms with it. I hope we get there,” he said.

Mr Baker said Ms Cini’s mother was shattered and could not speak.

“She’s her only daughter.”

Ms Cini’s brother Adam has posted on Instagram saying learning of his sister’s death was “the worst day of my life”.

Inspector Campbell said up to 50 friends and family of the property owners attended the private event and were shocked to witness the drownings.

“It’s very tragic circumstances. The party is an annual event on Australia Day where friends and family come together so for them it’s very tragic consequences.”

Alcohol and the structural integrity of the slide are both avenues police are investigating.

“There was alcohol involved during the day,” Inspector Campbell said.

“There will be a number of aspects investigated. Alcohol will be one, including the actions of the deceased persons and the friends and relatives, and aspects in relation to safety and construction.

“We are not aware of anything in relation to underage drinking at the moment.”

Julattan ‘a small and close-knit’ town

Mareeba Shire Council deputy mayor Alan Pedersen said the regional community was in shock.

“Our hearts go out to the family,” he said.

“No doubt the police will get to the bottom of it but think of their families, what they’re going through.”

Cr Pedersen said Julattan was a small, close-knit rural township.

“It’s tragic whenever you lose young people but under those circumstances is shocking as well.

“It’s certainly going to have an impact on this small community.”

Topics:

emergency-incidents,

rural-youth,

regional,

accidents—other,

australia-day,

alcohol,

cairns-4870

First posted

January 27, 2018 12:32:31

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