From Thursday 15 May, stinger-resistant enclosures will start to be removed from Port Douglas through to Mission Beach following approval from Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) and the respective local councils, signalling the end of the high-risk stinger season.
However SLSQ’s North Queensland regional manager Colin Sparkes has urged beachgoers to remain vigilant, saying the removal of the nets did not guarantee the complete absence of marine stingers.
“We’ll be starting the removal process today (15 May) and continuing on Friday (16 May) with the aim of having all nets removed by the start of the weekend,” Mr Sparkes said.
“While we’re now at the end of the peak stinger season, it’s important to remember that marine stingers can still be found in the water all year round. With this in mind, I would urge people to continue to take precautions and safeguard themselves when swimming at the beach.
“We still recommend swimmers be cautious when entering the water and only swim between the red and yellow flags, because that’s where they’ll be able to seek help and advice from surf lifesavers and lifeguards.
“We also recommend that swimmers continue to wear protective stinger suits, which not only minimise the risk of a nasty sting but also give people better sun protection,” he said.
SLSQ works with external experts including James Cook University to continually learn more about these dangerous marine creatures and remain at the forefront of this research, as they collect specimens of dangerous creatures including irukandji and box jellyfish for scientists to study.
Starting from today, stinger-resistant enclosures are being removed from the following beaches:
- Port Douglas
- Ellis Beach
- Palm Cove
- Bramston Beach
- Kurrimine Beach
- Clifton Beach
- Kewarra Beach
- Trinity Beach
- Holloways Beach
- Etty Bay
- North and South Mission Beach
Beaches from Port Douglas to South Mission Beach will remain open during the winter months, and SLSQ reminds beachgoers to swim only during designated patrol hours and between the red and yellow flags.