CROC SPOT: A crocodile was spotted swimming near Pigeon Island on Wednesday afternoon.
CROC SPOT: A crocodile was spotted swimming near Pigeon Island on Wednesday afternoon. Rory Sheavils

Confirmed: Croc spotted off Pigeon Island

A CROCODILE was spotted swimming towards Abell Point Marina on Wednesday afternoon.

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) today confirmed it was investigating the incident.

A DES spokesperson told the Whitsunday Times a Queensland Water Police officer saw the animal swimming offshore of Pigeon Island towards the Marina.

DES wildlife officers have installed recent crocodile sighting warning signs and will monitor the area, the spokesperson said.

It isn't the first time a crocodile has been spotted near Cannonvale Beach, but there is some conjecture as to whether the same one has resurfaced.

In October 2016, a sign was erected at Cannonvale Beach after a two-metre crocodile was spotted swimming off Pigeon Island.

Then, in November 2017, a four-metre saltwater crocodile was seen swimming in the same area.

Whitsunday Water Police Senior Constable Adrian Fitzpatrick said the water police patrolled around Pigeon Island, Whisper Bay and Abell Point Marina on Thursday afternoon.

The sighting has sparked a warning from DES for people to be "crocwise" at Abell Point which is "known croc country".

Under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan, Abell Point is in Zone E (General Management Zone) which means crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour are targeted for removal.

DES encouraged people to report crocodile sightings on 1300 130 372 as soon as possible.

DES "crocwise" tips:

- Expect crocodiles in all northern Queensland waterways even if there is no warning sign.

- Obey all warning signs - they are there to keep you safe.

- Be aware crocs also swim in the ocean and be extra cautious around water at night.

- Stay well away from croc traps - that includes fishing and boating.

- The smaller the vessel the greater the risk, so avoid using canoes and kayaks.

- Stand back from the water's edge when fishing and don't wade in to retrieve a lure.

- Camp at least 50 metres from the edge of the water.

- Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near water, camp site or boat ramp.

- Never provoke, harass or feed crocs.

- Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead.

- Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in croc country.


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