Is the beach safe for swimming?

Palm Cove beach does not have a lot of big surf breaking on the beach and is therefore quite safe for swimming for people of all ages.  During the summer months between November and the end of April safety nets are installed on the beaches of North Queensland as we experience Box-Jellyfish in the waters along the coast.  These jellyfish generally inhabit the shallow waters along the beaches and river mouths and are not found out on the Reefs. Netted swimming enclosures are provided along most major beaches to allow swimming from the beaches during these months and they are patrolled and checked regularly by lifeguards. This type of jellyfish is not only found in the waters off our region they are throughout the tropical Indo Pacific, including Bali & Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines etc. Further information can be found on the following link: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/box-jellyfish/

Another type of stinging jellyfish that you may become aware of is the Irukandji. Again this type of jellyfish is not only found in the ocean waters around Cairns and the Whitsundays as most people think, they are found worldwide in such places as Hawaii, Florida, The Caribbean, South Africa, India, Japan, Fiji even the UK, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth please see map and information on this on this link: http://www.stingeradvisor.com/distribution.htm

Evidence is growing that Irukandji stings are just as common overseas and possibly more so than in tropical Australia however the issue is better researched, recognised and reported in Australia unlike other popular tropical destinations. The incidence of stings in the Cairns region are few.  The difference in our region to some parts of the world is that we take a responsible approach and warn people of the existence of these creatures in our waters at certain times of the year and advocate taking precautions to minimise any risk of being stung. In the unlikely event of being stung we have highly trained staff on hand and excellent medical facilities available.

During the months of our High Season between May and the end of October the nets are taken down and guests and holiday makers can swim recreationally on any portion of open beaches.  Surf Life Saving Australia maintains a presence on beaches year round and in High Season whilst there are no nets the beaches are patrolled and recreational swimming is encouraged to take place between specially marked areas denoted by red and yellow flags.

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