Cyclone Uesi pictured on Monday, February 10, 2020. Photo: Weatherzone
Cyclone Uesi pictured on Monday, February 10, 2020. Photo: Weatherzone

Rainbow Beach shark nets removed as cyclone threat grows

SHARK control protection equipment is being removed from South East Queensland beaches due to forecast rough weather.

Fisheries Queensland Shark Control Program Manager Michael Mikitis said removing the equipment was normal practice when rough weather was predicted.

“This week’s weather forecast shows a cyclone forming over Noumea and tracking towards the South East Queensland coast by the end of the week bringing swells of over four metres by Thursday,” Mr Mikitis said.

3/10/2019 : A QLD Fisheries boat checks the shark nets off the coast
3/10/2019 : A QLD Fisheries boat checks the shark nets off the coast

“There is a small window to safely remove the equipment before the predicted severe weather impacts.

“Nets and drumlines will be removed from all Gold Coast beaches, all Sunshine Coast beaches, Rainbow Beach, Bribie Island and the exposed beaches of North Stradbroke Island over the next two days.

“We will keep a close eye on the weather over the next 48 hours and teams are prepared to respond accordingly if necessary and re-install the gear if the weather conditions allow.”

Mr Mikitis said temporarily removing the equipment was also a public safety issue.

“High seas can cause some equipment to come adrift and loose shark control equipment can be a danger to swimmers and boats,” Mr Mikitis said.

Cyclone Uesi.
Cyclone Uesi.

“Anyone who sees any unsecured shark control equipment including ropes, netting or buoys, should call the Shark Control Program Hotline on 1800 806 891.

“Swimmers are also advised to follow safe swimming practices, including swimming between the flags and not swimming at dusk or dawn, particularly with the shark control equipment out of action temporarily.

“In rough conditions, it’s important that people take advice from the Queensland Surf Lifesaving Service as to whether they should go into the water.”

Be Safe. Be SharkSmart

  • Don’t swim at dawn or dusk
  • Always swim in clear water (not in murky water, anchorages, estuary mouths or canals)
  • Don’t throw food scraps or fish waste overboard
  • Don’t swim where fish are being cleaned
  • Swim, surf, snorkel or dive with a buddy
  • Follow local signage and swim between the flags at patrolled beaches.

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