Shock as preda­tor cruises into net

The Weekend Post - - News - DANIEL BATE­MAN Watch the video on­line at cairn­

SURF life­savers be­lieve rough seas may have al­lowed a small croc­o­dile to slip in­side the stinger net at Palm Cove.

A surf life­saver, who no­ticed that the rear cor­ner of the safety en­clo­sure’s pon­toon had par­tially low­ered, went over to in­ves­ti­gate at about 2pm yes­ter­day.

Surf Life Sav­ing Queens­land North Queens­land regional man­ager Rob David­son said the life­saver, com­ing back to the beach, soon spot­ted the un­wel­come rep­tile, es­ti­mated to be about 2m long, in­side the net.

“The net was brought in, and in the process, the croc­o­dile was able to get out (of the net) and un­der the watch­ful eye of EHP (Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion), was seen swim­ming north,” Mr David­son said.

He be­lieved the croc, mov­ing be­tween creeks, may have been pushed up on to the pon­toon from the rough seas.

“It’s def­i­nitely some­thing to look out for,” he said.

The beach was closed to swim­mers and is ex­pected to be re­opened this morn­ing.

Life­savers have been forced to close Queens­land beaches more than 50 times this year due to shark and croc­o­dile pres­ence. Ex­perts are warn­ing of a marked in­crease of preda­tors in the wa­ter.

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