News and media statements

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Public safety for Penguin Island sandbar

Parks and Wildlife and SLSWA training at Penguin Island sandbar today
Parks and Wildlife and SLSWA training at Penguin Island sandbar today Parks and Wildlife

The Department of Parks and Wildlife has joined forces with Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA) to reinforce public safety around the Penguin Island sandbar.

Parks and Wildlife swan regional manager Stefan de Haan said the department and SLSWA were advising people visiting Penguin Island to use the ferry service between Penguin Island and Mersey Point.

“We are conducting joint training today and SLSWA will be manning the sandbar to 2 February 2015, then on all the long weekends and school holidays until April 2015,” he said.

“It is important that people visiting Penguin Island are aware of the dangers of crossing the sandbar and do not put themselves in risky situations unnecessarily.”

Mr de Haan said the department was also trialling a ridged inflatable vessel this season, which can be used as a rescue vessel if needed.

“A variable message board also will be used on the mainland to inform visitors when the sandbar is closed,” he said.

Mr de Haan said although the department and SLSWA have a number of safety measures in place to rescue people if needed, the main message for the public was not to cross the sandbar.

“The department regularly closes the sandbar when forecast local weather, tide, surge and sea conditions pose a risk to people but there are a number of people who ignore these closures,” he said.

“People with local knowledge are seen using the sandbar but it can be risky and provide a false sense of security for people not familiar with the area.

“Parks and Wildlife recommend the safest way to travel to Penguin Island is via the ferry, which runs every hour from the mainland between 7 am and 3 pm and returns from Penguin Island hourly between 10:10 am and 4 pm,” he said.

Last modified on Monday, 15 December 2014 15:44