News and media statements

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People reminded not to use Penguin Island sandbar

Visitor risk sign at Penguin Island and Mersey Point
Visitor risk sign at Penguin Island and Mersey Point

 

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) today reminded people that it was not safe to cross the sandbar between Penguin Island and Mersey Point at any time during the coming summer months.

DPaW Swan Regional Manager Stefan de Haan said it was important that people visiting Penguin Island were aware of the dangers of crossing the sandbar and did not put themselves in risky situations unnecessarily.

“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.

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

Mr de Haan said a number of rescues had been carried out in recent weeks of people who had tried to cross the closed sandbar.

“These incidents have forced the department to take the step of issuing cautions, and possibly fines, to people who cross the sandbar when closed,” he said.

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

DPaW rangers have the power to issue on-the-spot fines under the Conservation and Land Management Regulations 2002 if people do not comply with a lawful closure of DPaW-managed lands or waters.

Mr de Haan said Surf Life Saving Western Australia would be starting patrols of the sandbar from 16 December through to 2 February and again over the long weekends in March and April 2014.

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dpawwa

Twitter: @WAPARKSWILDLIFE

 

Last modified on Friday, 15 November 2013 16:33