Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is urging beachgoers to swim in stinger resistant enclosures (stinger nets) this summer, which will soon return to North Queensland beaches.
Deployment of stinger nets will occur on Townsville beaches on Thursday 30 and Friday 31 October, and in the Cairns region on Monday 3 November. Stinger nets will also return to Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island in mid-November due to major beach restoration works.
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 the enclosures be returned to the relevant beaches.
SLSQ North Queensland regional manager Col 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,” Col 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 a valuable sun protection device,” he said.
“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.”