Changes to marine stinger risk management will make local beaches safer but will reduce the number of beaches that can be patrolled.
As part of changes to Surf Life Saving Queensland’s marine stinger procedures, two lifeguards are now required to perform a box jellyfish drag before opening a beach.
This task was previously performed by one lifeguard with a smaller sized net.
As a result, only Harbour Beach, Lamberts Beach and Eimeo Beach will be patrolled regularly for the next 12 months, starting January 4, 2023.
Development Services director Aletta Nugent says the reduction in patrolled beaches is unfortunate, but council has no other option.
“Surf Life Saving Queensland patrol our beaches and they have been struggling with staff shortages for quite some time,” she says.
“Given the additional resourcing requirements of the new procedure, our only option was to reduce the number of beaches patrolled across the region or the contract would be cancelled as the terms would be unable to be met.
“This would mean we wouldn’t have anyone to patrol any of the beaches.
“Over the next 12 months we’ll be investigating ways to reinstate patrols to Bucasia Beach and Sarina Beach.
“We’re hopeful that the job market may also improve during this time.”
Sarina Beach will be patrolled intermittently by volunteer lifesavers and a roving lifeguard will be visiting both Sarina and Bucasia beaches each week to advise beachgoers of the risks of swimming at local beaches.
Residents in Sarina are encouraged to visit beachsafe.org.au for regular updates on the dates and times that volunteer lifesavers will patrol Sarina Beach.