Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is urging anyone heading to the beach this summer to stay safe and cover up, with the rollout of stinger nets across North Queensland commencing this week.
Stinger nets will be installed at beaches across Port Douglas and Cairns from Monday onwards, with all nets set to be in place by this Friday (November 3).
SLSQ lifeguards and lifesavers will continue to perform regular stinger drags in and around patrol areas, with NQ regional manager Rob Davidson encouraging anyone heading for a swim to remain vigilant over the coming months.
“It’s really important that beachgoers are taking all steps possible to protect themselves in and around the water this stinger season,” he said.
“Covering up with appropriate clothing and staying within the stinger nets at all times will give people the best chance possible of avoiding a nasty sting.
“We encourage everyone entering the water to wear protecting clothing such as a wetsuit or lycra body suit but, if you don’t have that, a long-sleeved shirt and pants can also effective.
“While the nets aren’t 100 percent stinger proof, our lifesavers and lifeguards will conduct regular drags in and around the enclosures, and immediately close a beach if any dangerous stingers are found.”
Mr Davidson also urged swimmers to refrain from sitting on, playing near, or interfering with the stinger enclosures, as jellyfish can sometimes wash over the top or through the sides.
“Any swimmers who are stung should immediately notify the lifeguards or lifesavers on duty,” he said.
Tips for safer swimming in NQ waters:
- Only ever swim in stinger resistant enclosures.
- Look for, and observe, warning signs.
- Stinger resistant enclosures afford a high degree of protection against potentially dangerous marine stingers; however, they are not 100% ‘stinger proof’. It’s important to wear protective clothing (wet suit or Lycra body suit), to reduce exposure to potential stings. In the absence of a full Lycra suit, wear other protective clothing such as long pants tucked into socks.
- Lifesavers regularly drag inside and outside the net for dangerous marine stingers. If any specimens are found the net will be closed. To avoid stings, check with your local lifeguard or lifesaver and never enter the water when a beach has been closed.
- Enter water slowly as box jellyfish and other marine stingers will sometimes swim away from people given the opportunity and time.
North Queensland stinger nets:
Palm Cove, Clifton Beach, Kewarra Beach, Trinity Beach, Yorkeys Knob, Holloways Beach, Port Douglas, Ellis Beach, Bramston Beach, Etty Bay, and North and South Mission Beach.