TRAGEDY: Parents struck by grief after Fraser Island deaths
THE grieving parents of two Japanese schoolboys who drowned on Fraser Island are staying strong despite the tragic loss of their sons.
Caloundra City Private School principal Dirk Wellham met with the boys' parents on Sunday morning and spoke with them through an interpretor.
The boys were part of a group of students from Kanagawa University High School who were visiting Queensland on a week-long exchange program.
As part of the program, the 15 students spent Tuesday and Wednesday at the Caloundra school.
Mr Wellham said the families were devastated.
"They're grieving and sad, but very good people," he said.
"They're getting on with it. They're OK but it's terrible."
Last week, the visiting students were paired off with "buddies" from the Caloundra school.
The two boys paired with the teens who had died were saddened by their deaths, Mr Wellham said.
The boys lit a memorial lamp at a special assembly yesterday in honour of the Japanese students who had lost their lives.
"It's been tough on those boys," he said.
The two days the visitors spent at the school were marked by friendship, laughter and fun.
Mr Wellham has one particularly vivid memory of about 30 students sitting and eating lunch together.
"They were sitting in a large circle," he said.
"They were having lunch, messing around together.
"They were really lovely people, our people got on really well with them."
On Thursday the students left the school to travel to Fraser Island.
It was about 5pm on Friday when the two boys were reported missing near Lake McKenzie.
Their bodies were found on Saturday morning about 8.20am.
When Mr Wellham learned the news, he contacted staff and parents through an email to ensure the students would have support.
A school counsellor has been on hand to provide comfort to students who may be struggling after the tragedy.
Caloundra students are now compiling a book of letters of love and support which will be sent to Kanawaga University High School.
A State Government spokesman said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's thoughts went out to the family, friends and loved ones of those involved.
He said Queensland Police and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland were continuing to investigate the deaths.
"Tragedies such as this are automatically referred to the coroner," he said.