Community grief for drowned girl
A SIX-YEAR-OLD Townsville girl who drowned after a weekend birthday celebration took a tragic turn has been described as an "enthusiastic, high achieving, and friendly young child".
Alliannah Rose Cathcart had been at Black River with family and friends on Sunday when she disappeared about 1.15pm.
It is understood there had been about 10 other people, mostly children, in the water with Alliannah at the time.
Acting Inspector Steve Batterham said "heroic" police officers who arrived on scene dived into the water, where there had been a reported croc sighting just a week ago, to search for Alliannah.
Her body was pulled out of the water less than two hours after she disappeared.
"When they found the young child, it was quite obvious that she was deceased," he said.
"Our thoughts, prayers and well wishes go to the family and to the school community and others that will be impacted by this sad loss."
Bohlevale State School principal Helen Morris said the school community was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the death.
"The student was an enthusiastic, high achieving and friendly young child who will be greatly missed by all her friends and teachers," she said.
"Our thoughts and sincere sympathies go out to the family, caregivers, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.
"Support is being provided to students and staff, and guidance counsellors will remain at the school to provide support in any way they can and for as long as it is needed."
A note to parents informing them of Alliannah's passing, issued by the school and seen by the Bulletin, outlined how the news could affect their children.
"The best way to support your child at this time is to listen to them, respond to their questions, acknowledge their feelings, comfort them and help them feel safe," it read.
"Bohlevale State School is a wonderful community and I have no doubt that we will pull together to deal with this as best we possibly can."
A report will be prepared for the coroner.