Has it come to this?
THE proposition that swimming in local waters is just too unsafe due to the crocodile threat seems both logical and ludicrous at the same rime. Has it really come to this? MP Billy Gordon thinks so. If you want to swim in the sea you’d best go to the Gold Coast, says Billy. We’re just not that sort of tourist destination, he reckons.
News to me — foolishly perhaps, I thought we were!
I think it’s entirely reasonable that visitors and quite a few locals would expect to be able to swim in the sea with reasonable safety.
I don’t mean that should apply everywhere in our region – some places such as the Daintree River are best thought of as croc habitats and there should be no swimming.
But at Four Mile Beach? How do we tell tourists booking holidays it is off limits as a place to dip a toe in? That is unacceptable. Anyway, as Billy Gordon says in our exclusive interview in this issue, it’s a complex issue.
One thing for certain at the moment – in the current situation, it is impossible to say it is safe to swim off Four Mile Beach.
It seems obvious that crocs transit between Dickson Inlet and the Mowbray River, and there are reports of one or two living in wash aways along the beach itself.
Speaking of the briny, it’s a worry that sea temperatures in the reef lagoon are reportedly as much as 33 deg at the moment. Fingers crossed we don’t see another bleaching event.
One interesting thing this week was stinger expert Lisa-ann Gershwin saying that there was a pretty low incidence of irukandji stings up here this summer and an unusual amount down south. She thinks the little blighters may not handle elevated temperatures very well.