The parents of a Brisbane school leaver who died during a
schoolies celebration on an island off Nadi have flown to
Fiji to try to find answers to their son's death.
Harrison Kadell, 17, was the vice-captain of the St Thomas
More Catholic College in Brisbane.
Principal Peter Elsome says he was a popular student who did
well in his final year, an outstanding athlete and a role
"He was well prepared for the next stage in life," Mr Elsome
Harrison was on Plantation Island, off Nadi, celebrating his
graduation with about 500 other schoolies this week.
The revellers were holding nightly parties between 7pm and
5am local time.
It is still unclear what happened, but Harrison was found
floating in the resort swimming pool about 4am on Tuesday.
"All I know is that he went into the pool and didn't come out
... he drowned," a Fiji police spokesman told AAP.
Mr Elsome began contacting the teenager's classmates on
Tuesday to tell them what happened.
"We've had a wonderful year and Harrison was a big part of
that year, so it really is a terrible tragedy for all," he
Harrison's mother, a former student, was chair of the school
board, his older sister had been school captain and his
younger brother is a year 10 student.
His distraught parents will try to bring their son's body
home, but Mr Elsome says it will probably be some time before
they can because the Fiji coroner will likely investigate
As the flag flew at half mast, Year 12 students started
arriving at the school chapel on Tuesday afternoon to grieve
Harrison's death and the college is offering support to those
traumatised by the news.
It's the second schoolies death to mar this year's
Brisbane school leaver Isabelle Colman, 17, fell to her death
from the 26th floor of the Chevron Renaissance apartment
tower at Surfers Paradise late last month.
At the time, Foreign Minister Bob Carr warned schoolies to
take care on end-of-school trips, and to think about their
personal safety, alcohol consumption and the laws of the
countries they were visiting.
The Australian company which organises schoolies trips to
Plantation Island, Unleashed Travel, said in a statement on
its Facebook page that the teenager's death was a "tragic
Company director Jot Lynas told AAP he could not comment at
this time as the death is the subject of an inquiry.
The St Thomas More College community will plan a memorial
service for Harrison in the coming days.
"As a community we're numb," Mr Elsome said.
"We're doing the best we can."