Tragedies can be pre­vented

The Cairns Post - - VIEWS -

THE im­por­tance of swim­mimg be­tween the flags on our beaches can­not be stressed enough.

The Far North, in par­tic­u­lar Green Is­land, has the bleak ti­tle as the lo­ca­tion of the most dan­ger­ous beach in the state for the sec­ond time in three years.

It fol­lows the drown­ing of a Ja­panese tourist and a neardrown­ing in the past year.

As, we all know, preven­tion is al­ways bet­ter than cure and both th­ese cir­cum­stances could have been averted be­cause the vic­tims were swim­ming in ar­eas out­side the pa­trol flags.

There are calls for a third life­guard on the is­land to pa­trol the sec­ond beach as well as an ob­ser­va­tion tower.

Au­thor­i­ties are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the use of re­mote-con­trolled drones for pa­trol and search op­er­a­tions.

But the key mea­sures are those of preven­tion.

More mul­ti­lin­gual Surf Speak book­lets to im­prove com­mu­ni­ca­tion with in­ter­na­tional tourists are be­ing pro­vided as well as an aquatic au­dit and ex­tra safety signs.

Fur­ther­more the cam­paign needs to be driven home as part of the ar­rival mes­sages on flights and at air­ports.

When tourists come to beaches it is crit­i­cal they are told to ob­serve the flags, signs and in­struc­tions from life­guards.

Hosts and other English speak­ers need to as­sist as well.

Our wa­ters may ap­pear calm and invit­ing but there are dan­gers un­der­neath that must be con­veyed clearly and calmly.

We want every visi­tor to the re­gion to have a great and safe time. Plus re­turn home in one piece. Nick Dal­ton nick.dal­ton@news.com.au

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