THE supermarket boss of a teen suspected to have drowned in the Murray River has remembered him as a "gentle soul" who was very honest and a hard worker.
Friends were able to make it to safety but Mr Lunanga failed to reach shore, prompting a search by emergency services which continued on Sunday with police divers from Melbourne.
Distraught family and friends watched as the divers jumped in from an SES boat tethered to either riverbank to make sure it was not pushed downstream.
Among them were mates Mutabazi Jeanpaul and Moise Nsabimana and Mr Lunanga's team leader at Coles Mann Central Abbas Aleskafi where Mr Lunanga worked.
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"He's a gentle soul, very respectful to all teams," Mr Aleskafi said.
"He's very honest, a hard worker, he never hurt anyone, whatever you tell him he will do it and he's always on time.
"We say five o'clock, he's there at 4.30 waiting for his shift."
Sadly, Mr Lunanga had little experience of swimming in the river, with a photograph supplied by his friends to The Border Mail showing him in a life jacket during a class he did last year while at Wodonga Senior Secondary College.
"He only had one session in here," Mr Jeanpaul said near the river, adding his friend was not a strong swimmer.
Mr Jeanpaul suspects his friend thought he may have been alright to swim there after the lesson and was up for an adventure and some fun before trouble struck.
All three believed more training as well as signs in foreign languages, such as Mr Lunanga's native Swahili, are needed to help those oblivious to the river's dangers.
"It's sad news," Ms Aleskafi said.
"This will be a lesson for a lot of people I hope and for the future and for the rest of the families and for African families and any other families who come around this area."
Chief Inspector Ian Youman, of Albury police, said the tragedy was a cautionary story for all.
"It's warning to anyone regardless of when they arrived in Australia," he said.
Mr Lunanga arrived in Australia as a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in March 2018.
He was joined by siblings and lived with an aunt in Wodonga.
In addition to working at Coles, Mr Lunanga had started an apprenticeship in heavy vehicle maintenance after living school.
Mr Nsabimana said his friend was a good person who drove friends to school and ferried others in his community to medical appointments.
"I was at work with him on Thursday at Coles supermarket," he said.
"We were just working, having some fun and it's very hard for me to believe he's gone just like that because I did not expect any of that to happen."
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