Nakita Bruce, 3, from Bentley Park, who has never been to the beach before, was disappointed she could not swim at Palm Cove, which has been closed due to irukandji jellyfish PICTURE: DANIEL BATEMAN
Nakita Bruce, 3, from Bentley Park, who has never been to the beach before, was disappointed she could not swim at Palm Cove, which has been closed due to irukandji jellyfish PICTURE: DANIEL BATEMAN

Popular beaches shut after multiple wildlife threats

FROM dangerous jellyfish to unwelcome crocodiles, Cairns northern beaches are proving to be some of the region's deadliest swimming spots this time of year.

Palm Cove, Clifton, Kewarra and Ellis beaches were all closed yesterday after a 25-year-old woman was stung by an irukandji on Monday.

Lifeguards treated the woman at Palm Cove, before she was taken to Cairns Hospital by paramedics in a stable condition, where she remains.

Surf Life Saving NQ regional manager Rob Davidson said the four beaches might reopen today.

"That will be assessed on the results of stinger drags and the conditions, just because we've had the conditions that are conducive to having irukandji in close to shore," Mr Davidson said.

"It will be reassessed probably first thing (this) morning."

 

Until such time, Mr Davidson urged people to stay out of the water.

"It's definitely not a good time to be in the water with the current conditions and the fact that we've had a sting," he said.

The irukandji sting comes after lifeguards were also closed forced to close Yorkeys Knob Beach on Monday due to a confirmed crocodile sighting. The beach has since reopened.

Crocs have also been spotted in the Palm Cove locality since October, with the Department of Environment and Science (DES) receiving reports, the most recent sighting being November 19.

It follows a viral photo of a couple posing next to a creek at Palm Cove, where a large crocodile can be seen in the background. The wedding photographer, however, has confirmed the picture is a fake that was photoshopped "as a joke" for the bride and groom.

A DES spokesman said each of these sighting reports were investigated by departmental wildlife officers and temporary croc warning signs were installed at Palm Cove, Ellis Beach and Clifton Beach.

Traps have also been installed in two creeks between Ellis Beach and Clifton Beach.

"This is not unusual, with crocodiles becoming more mobile during the summer breeding season," he said.

A 1.1m saltie was removed from Barron River on November 26, while a 3.1m croc was captured at Deep Creek, between Kewarra and Clifton beaches.



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