Tributes flow for drowned duo
FRIENDS and family have paid tribute to the woman and teenage boy who drowned at a north Queensland property during an Australia Day party.
Kirsty Cini, from the state's southeast, is believed to have drowned while using a 40m waterslide which led to a dam at the property yesterday afternoon.
Her body, along with the body of 15-year-old Zack Jenkins, was pulled from a dam on Bud and Sue Watts' property at Julatten, about 25km southwest of Port Douglas, on Friday afternoon.
About 50 people were at the private party.
Adam Cini said learning of his sister's death made for the worst day of his life.
"I will never see my beautiful baby sister again," he posted on Instagram today.
"I have experienced so much pain in my life but nothing knocks me down like this, I am so lost now.
"RIP Kirsty Cini I'll love you always."
Today is the worst day of my life,to find out that I will never see my beautiful baby sister again. I have experienced so much pain in my life but nothing knocks me down like this, I am so lost now. RIP Kirsty Cini I’ll love you always. Friends and family I will try to keep you posted on when Kirsty’s funeral is.
Friends have posted tributes online describing Ms Cini as a "beautiful young lady".
"This is the saddest day in my life," one friend wrote.
"I have just lost a piece of my heart today.
"We lost the most beautiful soul in a freak accident."
Other friends wrote of the "sweet young lady" who was "full of life and love".
Just one day before her death, Ms Cini had taken to social media to wish her mother a happy birthday and thanking her for her support.
Ms Cini's stepfather told the ABC "(We are) just coming to terms with it. I hope we get there".
Mr Baker said Ms Cini's mother was shattered and could not speak, the ABC reports.
"She's her only daughter."
Ms Cini's Facebook page lists St Columban's College at Caboolture as where she went to school.
Friends have also paid tribute to 15-year-old Jenkins, an outgoing apprentice from North Queensland who loved motocross and football.
Jenkins, whose social media pages are filled with photos of him riding motorbikes, hunting, playing football and fishing, was remembered by friends as funny and kind character.
"Funny young stand out guy in our football team, never scared to run the ball straight and always having a laugh," one friend wrote online.
"Won't ever forget your loud mouth and our good memories brother."
Another friend described him as "an awesome soul" who had changed live.
"This afternoon has caused a lot of family and friends devastation," he said.
"At such a young age you did not deserve to die."
Mareeba Shire councillor Edward Brown grew up in the tight-knit Julatten community.
"It's a tragedy for any small community to have one death let alone two," he said.
"But knowing that community I'm sure they will rally behind them and give them all the support they need."
Police were called to the property, on Mossman Mount Molloy Rd, about 4pm following reports a woman was missing after failing to resurface from the dam.
"The 24-year-old female had gone onto the slide into the dam and was quite limp as she entered the water and didn't come to the surface," Acting Inspector Rob Campbell said.
"A number of her friends and others went into the dam to try and find her and that's when they found the boy … he had been missing for some time."
After arriving, emergency services soon found the body of Ms Cini.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene despite efforts to revive them.
Acting Inspector Campbell said how the boy came to be in the water was also being investigated.
It's believed he was missing from the party for about 20 minutes.
He said the slide had been handmade and has been used for a number of years without incident.
He said the safety of the slide would form part of police investigations.
"The slide is constructed of rubber conveyor belt matting … it's been in place for some four years and has been used at parties across different times by partygoers to slide into the dam," he said.
Acting Inspector Campbell said alcohol was at the party but initial investigations indicated there wasn't considerable consumption.
A witness at the Australia Day party, which was attended by about 50 people, said it "was hard to watch" as paramedics worked to resuscitate his friends.
It is believed the woman had been using the slide, which was set up on the dam's edge, to enter the water.
"With the boy we have no information to indicate he was on the slide but that's what we hope to uncover," Inspector Campbell said.
The Cairns Post reported a witness on scene said: "I think they hit their head on the side".
The young partygoers were crying and in shock, gathering together and embracing each other.
Police spokesman Duane Amos said there was alcohol at the event.
"It's a typical Australia Day event where everyone is enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, there is alcohol that's mixed with water and we have the tragic deaths of a 23-year-old and 15-year-old," he told Sunrise.
Police declared the area a crime scene and are investigating the circumstances of the deaths.
Neighbour Terry Cabba said the deaths were a complete tragedy.
"We spoke to Sue yesterday morning and they said they were going to have a party," he said.
"We've only got just over eight acres here but they're got over 100 acres they run a lot of cattle, they're pretty active.
"They're nice neighbours."
Mr Cabba said he had heard the Rescue 510 arrive yesterday but was unaware of what had unfolded.
"The chopper come in but we didn't know what was going in and we didn't poke our noses in," he said.
"There was a lot of gear here ... obviously we knew something serious had happened."
- additional reporting by The Cairns Post