One dead after friends camping adventure turns to tragedy
A GATTON man has been hailed as a hero after a camping adventure with friends turned into tragedy at the weekend.
Cameron Johnson, 21, drowned on Saturday afternoon after the inflatable pool he and four friends were riding in overturned in treacherous surf at Teewah Beach on the Sunshine Coast.
It is understood that Mr Johnson tried to save his friends, but he and a 25-year-old man were dragged out to sea by the strong current.
Both men were unconscious when bystanders pulled them from the water.
Their three mates managed to scramble ashore.
People on the beach alerted emergency services to the unfolding tragedy soon after 1.30pm.
Initial reports suggest that Mr Johnson and four friends were trying to ride a blow-up swimming pool through the breakers before it overturned in large swell, plunging all five into the water.
Two nurses who were holidaying nearby managed to save the older man, but Mr Johnson could not be resuscitated.
AGL Action Rescue Helicopter air crew member Jerm Cutelli said the tragedy played out in front of several other members of the large group of friends from Gatton.
It is understood Mr Johnson's partner saw the entire incident unfold and had to be sedated by Queensland Ambulance officers at the beach.
Two men, aged 25 and 19, were flown to Nambour Hospital while the other two men were taken by ambulance to Noosa Hospital.
All four have since been discharged from hospital.
Friends of Mr Johnson turned to social media yesterday to express their shock at his death.
"When you hear something that just blows you away . . . R.I.P Cameron you will truly be missed by everyone," one said.
"My son lost one of his best mates. So heartbreaking, so young. Treasure the memories that you have (and I know you have plenty of them) my heart goes our too all of you, pull together boys and stay strong for each other," another said.
It is understood that Mr Johnson was a former student of Lockyer District High School.
Mr Johnson's Facebook page listed his interests as camping, pigging and shooting.
It is understood Mr Johnson and a group of friends were holidaying with others at Fresh Water, south of Double Island Point.
Teewah Beach is a popular camping beach on Noosa North Shore frequented by four-wheel drive enthusiasts.
Queensland Police confirmed a report into the circumstances surrounding the tragic events was being prepared for the coroner.
- Additional reporting Damian Bathersby, Sunshine Coast Daily.