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Australian teen dies during 'schoolies' party

Last updated 17:15 04/12/2012
Harrison Kadell
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'TRAGIC ACCIDENT': Harrison Kadell, pictured in the St Thomas More College year book.

Harrison Kadell
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DROWNED: Australian school leaver Harrison Kadell drowned at a Fiji resort.

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An Australian teenager has drowned in a  resort pool in Fiji during end-of-school celebrations.

A Fiji police spokesman said Harrison Kadell, 17, and his friends were partying around a pool at the Plantation Island Resort, off Nadi. He was found dead about 4am on Tuesday.

The teen may have been taking part in a ''breath dares'' - where participants had to hold their breath underwater - when tragedy struck, Australian media reported.

The police spokesman could not confirm that but said there were about 500 teens staying on the island and they were holding nightly parties between 7pm and 5am.

It is understood Harrison’s parents David and Selina and older sister Jordan are on route to Fiji.

Fiji police could not confirm reports the teenager had been playing a hold-your-breath dare game before he died.

‘‘All I know is that he went into the pool and didn’t come out,’’ the spokesman said.

The teen was the vice captain of a private Catholic college in Brisbane, St Thomas More College.

''From a school perspective, the community is shocked,'' Brisbane Catholic Education spokesman John Phelan said.

''He was a good role model and an outstanding young man.''

The travel company, which booked the trip to Fiji, has described the death as a "tragic accident".

Unleashed Travel confirmed on its Facebook page the parents of the 17-year-old boy who drowned in a resort swimming pool had been told of his death.

"The parents of the teenager involved in the tragic accident at Plantation Island Resort have been notified and all other guests are safe and well, being well cared for during this unfortunate time," the statement said.

- Bridie Jabour and Marissa Calligeros with AAP

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