Cyclone warning stings swimmers

Back in the water: A Palm Cove swimmer waits patiently for stinger nets to be moved back in.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009
© The Cairns Post

MOTHER Nature "pulled a swiftie" on beach-goers on the weekend by delivering perfect beach conditions rather than the cyclone that triggered the removal of all the stinger nets.

Glorious sunshine and calm seas enticed swimmers to the beach in droves, only to find the marine stinger risk meant they could not put a toe in the water.

But while some took their frustration out on the lifeguards, most understood it was better to be safe than sorry, FNQ lifeguard supervisor Jay March said yesterday.

"There were lots wanting to go into the water on the weekend, but they couldn't," Mr March said yesterday.

"The lifeguards copped a bit of flak."

The big task of putting 20 nets back in the water … from Port Douglas to Bowen … began yesterday for net contractor Uninet, whose staff had worked all Thursday, Friday and Saturday to remove them.

"Unfortunately with Mother Nature it's a bit of a gambling act and she pulls a swiftie on us every now and then," Uninet manager and co-owner Kim Moss said.

The last king tide of the year yesterday morning also raised concerns of logs and debris washing into the net.

But for those frustrated at missing out on the weekend, Mr Moss pointed out that if the nets got damaged they would be out of the water for repairs for a lot longer than a couple of days.

The net was also restored at Port Douglas' Four Mile Beach yesterday, with other Cairns beaches scheduled for returns from today.


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