Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is reminding beachgoers the safest places to swim this summer are in stinger resistant enclosures, which return to North Queensland beaches from Monday 26 October.
Deployment of stinger nets will occur at Balgal Beach on Monday, Magnetic Island on Wednesday, The Strand and Pallerenda Beaches on Thursday, and Forrest Beach next Friday 6 November.
Further north, stinger nets will return to Port Douglas on Monday 2 November, Ellis Beach to Holloways Beach on Tuesday 3 November, Bramston Beach and Etty Bay on Wednesday 4 November, and South Mission Beach and Mission Beach on Thursday 5 November.
SLSQ patrolling members and lifeguards have been performing stinger drags and conducting risk assessments over the past month and, in consultation with UniNet and local councils, have determined that enclosures be returned to the relevant beaches.
SLSQ North Queensland regional manager Colin Sparkes encouraged beachgoers to stick to the stinger resistant enclosures, which remain the safest place for people to swim.
“It’s important that swimmers always swim between the red and yellow flags and in the stinger resistant nets to avoid being stung by any tropical jellyfish,” Colin said.
“While the nets are not 100 per cent ‘stinger-proof’, lifesavers and lifeguards regularly drag in and around the enclosures, closing the beach if any marine stingers are discovered.
“There are also basic precautions that swimmers can take to avoid the risk of a nasty sting. Wearing protective clothing such as Lycra body suits or wetsuits have proven to be effective and, being in northern Queensland, can also act as valuable sun protection.
“We also urge swimmers to refrain from sitting on, or interfering with, the stinger enclosures as jellyfish can sometimes wash over the top or through the sides,” he said.
Swimmers who experience a marine sting should immediately notify the lifeguards or lifesavers on duty and treat the affected area with vinegar for at least 30 seconds.