Con­di­tions prime for marine stingers

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

STINGER sea­son has of­fi­cially started with sight­ings of box jelly fish at Four Mile Beach and two 20-year-old men stung by irukandji at Palm Cove.

From 1pm yes­ter­day, ev­ery Cairns beach from El­lis Beach to Hol­loways Beach was closed for 24 hours due to the pres­ence of irukandji.

With re­cent weather con­di­tions pro­duc­ing northerly winds, jel­ly­fish sight­ings will be­come more fre­quent, ac­cord­ing to Surf lifesaving NQ branch re­gional man­ager Collin Sparks.

“Con­di­tions are per­fect for box­ers un­til the weather changes and you have to worry about the irukandji

with the norther­lies,” he said.

“Our life­guards drag in­side the nets us­ing spe­cial irukandji nets, which has shown a re­duc­tion in the amount of cases of stings and most seem to oc­cur out at the reef.

“Peo­ple should be wary of tak­ing small chil­dren even in the nets and ev­ery­one should be wear­ing stinger suits.”

While the ocean is calm the jel­ly­fish will be close to shore, Port Dou­glas’s head life­guard Lau­rie Green rec­om­mends only swim­ming in the saftey nets when a life­gaurd is on duty.

“What hap­pened yes­ter­day won’t have a di­rect bear­ing on what hap­pens to­day or to­mor­row, we are drag­ging to mon­i­tor the pres­ence but it’s not 100 per cent con­sis­tent, jel­ly­fish play by their rules not ours.”

For more in­for­ma­tion speak with life­gau­rds at Four Mile Beach or con­tact the Surf Lifesaving North Queens­land branch on 4032 2300.

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