Friends saw teen disappear into dangerous current
A YOUNG Cairns woman was trying to swim between two rocks when she was pulled into "quick rapids" and sucked underwater then vanished in a restricted area at a popular Far North swimming hole.
Nine people, believed to include the 18-year-old White Rock woman's boyfriend, tragically watched her disappear at the Devil's Pool area of the Babinda Boulders south of Cairns just after 2pm yesterday.
The search continued until 6.30pm last night for the woman, presumed drowned, and resumed early this morning with police vowing to stay on site until she was recovered.
Far North police Det Acting Insp Jason Smith said the woman's family was "devastated".
"It was a distressing event for everybody involved," he said.
"Queensland Police and other agencies hope that we can resolve it very, very soon and give some answers to the family."
Police divers are expected to join the search this afternoon which already includes SES volunteers combing the banks and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service's swift water rescue crews.
While swimming is allowed in areas at the Boulders, the Devil's Pool area is notorious with Det Acting Insp Smith describing the waterway as "dangerous".
"The water is much deeper than it appears, it's travelling at a much faster rate, it has much more energy than it appears from the surface," he said.
"The Boulders has been the site of many tragic deaths over the years.
"We're fortunate that it's actually been several years since someone's passed away there.
"People have to heed the warnings, read the signs, they're there for a reason.
"It's concerning to us that she was in that space and concerning to us that there were so many people swimming in that space."
The Devil's Pool area of the Boulders has claimed the lives of 17 swimmers since the 1950s.
The road leading to the Boulders is currently closed.
Originally published as 'Distressing': Friends saw teen disappear into dangerous current