26 September 2023

QPWS issues warns on park swimming dangers

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Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) has warned that increased rain over the summer can lead to dangerous swimming conditions within creeks and rock pools appearing and running across the State’s National Parks.

Teaming with Queensland Police, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and Queensland Ambulance Services, the QPWS is urging people to become aware of the dangers and ensure they are mindful of their safety.

It said the dangers would also crackdown on people who dangerously chose to ignore signs and directions that keep people safe, or who entered restricted access areas.

Acting Senior Ranger with QPWS, Roger James said that while most visitors followed directions from Park Rangers and signage, the QPWS continued to see people unlawfully enter the restricted access area at Josephine Falls within Wooroonooran National Park, risking consequences including hefty fines, spinal injuries, broken bones and loss of life.

“In the past three months, QPWS has ordered more than 20 people to leave the park and issued six $431 on-the-spot fines to visitors caught on the wrong side of the fence at the falls,” Mr James said.

“In the same time period, there were three serious incidents that required emergency assistance, resulting from people entering off-limits areas within the National Park.”

He said every time another person was injured or died, the QPWS had to consider additional measures like further restrictions or closures and impacts on the natural environment to put in more barriers and signs, and issue more fines.

Far North District Country Eastern Patrol Inspector at the Queensland Police Service, Brad Winks said all people involved in a search-and-rescue operation put their lives on the line.

“Specialist teams are flown in from across the State to search in dangerous conditions often for days at a time,” Inspector Winks said.

“No officer wants to be the one to then knock on a family’s door to say their loved one won’t be coming home.”

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