LETTER | Croc warning signs don't give enough information


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The crocodile at Four Mile Beach last week. Image: Supplied.

Dear Editor,

Attached to my letter are two photos which I snapped at approximately 5pm on 17/07/2019 showing just how close to the beach this big croc was swimming.

It was heading south along Four Mile Beach and was, at this stage, adjacent to Solander Ave where I was staying with friends. There were several people walking parallel to the croc and there were swimmers in the water at the southern end of the beach.

My friend rang the Report a Crocodile phone number and was answered by a ranger in Townsville, who I believe, alerted Port Douglas authorities to get the swimmers out of the water and to erect Crocodile Warning Signs and closing the beach, temporarily.

With all due respects to the signs, in general, I believe that they do not contain enough information to alert the uninformed public that crocodiles can lie underwater for hours at a time, watching, and can see clearly through even murky water with their specially adapted lenses.

The signage only shows the crocodile on the surface of the water, which to a lot of people would indicate that if no crocs are actually seen swimming, it must be safe to go in and swim.

I think that it is vital to also depict a croc lying on the bottom looking up and some relevant information alerting the public that they can see you quite clearly, even in muddy or murky water.

Also information about the astonishing speed that a croc can move when chasing prey, in or out of water.

This particular croc is quite large and I would think, possibly, a good 15 feet long, judging from many sightings while cruising in Cape York Peninsula waters for many years.

The standard measuring seems to be:- multiply the length of the head by 7 for the approximate total length.

Safety first is paramount. Prevention is better than cure or an avoidable disaster.

Susan Gaynor, Cooktown

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