Teen drowns on popular reef tourist island

Rescuers have failed to resuscitate an international exchange student who drowned in waters off Green Island.

The Queensland Ambulance Services was called at 12.30pm after a 17-year-old boy was pulled motionless from the water where he had been snorkelling.

CPR was administered but the boy was declared dead at the scene.

It is the second major incident at the popular tourist island in as many months.

A 56-year-old Indian national was pronounced dead at the Cairns Hospital in September after being pulled unconscious from the water at Green Island.

The island is popular with international tourists getting their first experience at snorkelling on the reef.Source:Supplied

He had been swimming in an unpatrolled area of the beach near the island’s jetty about 500m outside the flags.

Surf Life Saving Queensland has identified Green Island as one of five coastal black spots in Queensland, with now eight drownings at the island in the past decade.

Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said attention needed to be paid to how to get international visitors to swim between the flags.

“Green Island has certainly got a long history of having a number of deaths out there,” he said.

“There doesn’t seem to be any connection with conditions, waves or anything like that.

“It’s obviously concerning for Surf Life Saving Queensland and it’s concerning for us as well.”

Hundreds of tourists arrive at Green Island. Picture: Anna RogersSource:News Corp Australia

Mr Crawford said it was a tricky issue to negotiate.

“We still see international visitors with varying degrees of swimming ability going out to find isolated areas,” he said.

“Surf life savers can’t have eyes on every single patch of the beach.

“It’s not like going to the outer reef where they are under the complete supervision and direction of the charter company that takes them there.

“On Green Island they can basically get off the boat and walk anywhere they want.”

Surf Life Saving Queensland has proposed to trial a new translation smartphone app on Green Island to allow direct communication with international beachgoers in their primary language.

Originally published as Teen drowns on popular reef tourist island

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