Beach ‘croc’ found to be another kind of marine creature

 

REPORTS of a saltwater crocodile trapped in the stinger net at Palm Cove triggered the launch of an eye in the sky this morning to determine what witnesses thought they saw.

Surf Life Saving Queensland's North Queensland regional manager Rob Davidson said a sweep by the Palm Cove lifesaving drone did reveal an aquatic predator but it was not of the reptilian variety.

A screenshot from the Palm Cove surf lifesaving cam showing glass out conditions this morning.
A screenshot from the Palm Cove surf lifesaving cam showing glass out conditions this morning.

"What it is or what it appears to be is quite a large barra inside the net coming up and chomping through these bait balls," he said.

"When she breaks the surface it looks like a creature and people just say 'crocodile'.

"Lifeguards have had the drone up and we don't believe there is a crocodile inside the net and we have attributed it to a barramundi having a good feed."

Noting that crocs had been trapped in Far North Queensland stinger nets in the past Mr Davidson said people who reported the sighting did the right thing.

"In the end the process worked and we could negate the sighting and everyone has moved on," he said.

A 2m saltwater crocodile was spotted trying to climb onto the stinger net at Palm Cove in 2011.
A 2m saltwater crocodile was spotted trying to climb onto the stinger net at Palm Cove in 2011.

The regional manager said beach swimming enclosures were currently closed due to a high marine stinger danger and would stay closed until there was a shift in climatic conditions.

"The beaches will remain closed irrespective of whether we catch anything (during routine dragging,)" he said.

"The conditions haven't changed from the weekend so the likelihood of having them on the coast is still extremely high," he said.

"There is probably a high likelihood that beaches will remain closed in the Cairns area until we get a change in the current conditions."

Last Friday four people were stung by marine stingers at Far Northern Beaches in a 24-hour period.


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