A father who was found dead alongside his son following a double drowning at a waterfall near Cairns is being remembered as a "kind-hearted person".

Sisira Gajanayake, 59, was found unresponsive with his 21-year-old son, Themiya Gajanayake, 25 minutes from the city.

The pair were on holiday with some of his colleagues, transport company Ventura Bus said.

Melbourne man Sisira Gajanayake was declared dead after being pulled unresponsive from the water at a popular Far North swimming hole.

Emergency services were called when the two men started "struggling to get out of the water" about 5pm.

Gajanayake's friend Nakula Premaratine told 9News his death was a tragedy.

"We all went for a swim and then suddenly the water level (went) up and his son jumped in to save him," he said.

"But unfortunately, they both couldn't be saved."

Premaratine said his 59-year-old friend was a "very kind-hearted person".

"He was (always) helping everyone," he said.

"It's a very big shock for the Sri Lankan community."

Gajanayake worked for Ventura in Melbourne for more than eight years.

"Our thoughts are with Sisira's family and his work colleagues from Melbourne that were holidaying with Sisira in Cairns at the time of this tragic incident," Managing Director Andrew Cornwall said.

A Queensland Ambulance spokesman said the men were declared dead at the natural pools.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances, and a report will be prepared for the coroner.


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