News and media statements

All Parks and Wildlife Service news items and media statements produced after mid-August 2019 are available on the new departmental website .


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Stay safe at Penguin Island, do not use the sandbar

Visitors to Penguin Island are being encouraged to stay safe during the summer season by not crossing the sandbar between Penguin Island and Mersey Point at any time.

 

The Department of Parks and Wildlife today reminded people that crossing the sandbar was potentially dangerous and to not put themselves in risky situations unnecessarily.

 

Parks and Wildlife officer Dave Charles said the department regularly closed the sandbar when forecasted local weather, tide, surge and sea conditions posed a risk to people but the closures were often ignored by a number of people.

 

“Many people with local knowledge often use the sandbar even when closed, but this is risky and can provide a false sense of security for people not familiar with the area.”

 

Mr Charles said the department was working with Surf Life Saving Western Australia, which had started patrols of the sandbar last week, to increase community awareness of the dangers.

 

“If necessary the department will take the next step of issuing cautions, and possibly fines, to people who cross the sandbar when closed,” he said.

 

“Visitor safety is the number one priority and there are highly visible signs to warn people of the potential dangers.”

 

Surf Life Saving Western Australia, Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club and the Peel Wesfarmers Lifesaver Jetski team, will be patrolling the sandbar throughout the season.

Penguin Island has a diverse array of wildlife and breathtaking marine and coastal scenery. It is home to the largest colony of Little Penguins on the west coast and probably Western Australia. The small 12.5 hectare island is less than 700m offshore from Mersey Point.

 

Boardwalks, paths and two lookouts help visitors discover the island’s plants, animals and beaches. There is a shady, grassed picnic area just in front of the viewing and interpretation facility.