Father and son have been identified as drowning victims in a holiday tragedy in Crystal Cascades, Cairns
A Melbourne father and son have been identified as the two men who drowned after “struggling to get out of the water” at a popular waterfall in far north Queensland.
Sisira Gajanayaka, 59, first got into trouble Tuesday afternoon while swimming at Crystal Cascades, west of Cairns.
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The experienced bus driver was with a group of 18 people from four different families when the tragedy happened.
His 21-year-old son was trying to save his father’s life when the couple drowned.
The men are said to have “struggled to get out of the water,” a police spokeswoman told 7NEWS.com.au.
At 5 p.m., bystanders called emergency services and a rescue operation was launched, but the men could not be found.
Swift water rescue teams and two pump trucks were involved in the operation before the men were found and pulled from the water unresponsive.
Police said the couple were unable to be resuscitated by paramedics and they were pronounced dead “a short time later”.
Friends and colleagues told 7NEWS that Gajanayaka is a lovely friend who would do anything to help anyone.
The family and friends who were traveling with the couple have cut short their holiday and are flying back to Melbourne on Wednesday evening.
A report is prepared for the coroner.
The tragedy isn’t the first time visitors to the site have run into trouble.
In 2020, a teenager had to be rescued after slipping and falling from the waterfall.
An 18-year-old man drowned there in 2014, who is also said to have slipped and fallen into the water.
– With Melina Sarris