Tourists ignore Byron’s beach warnings for a day in the sun
DOZENS of visitors and locals congregated at Clarkes Beach and Main Beach in Byron Bay yesterday despite the beach being closed and warnings about the potential for dunes to collapse.
After high tide around 9am, a number of people decided to enjoy the hot weather although not many entered the water, as signs were alerting visitors of the risk of submerged rocks.
Although most beachgoers decided to just stroll or jog along the beach, many set up right next to the dunes, some of them clearly eroded and with vegetation ready to fall over into the sand.
Along the beach, much vegetation had already fallen into the beach, obstructing the area.
Yesterday, Byron Shire Council asked people to keep off the dunes at Clarkes Beach this week, and for the foreseeable future.
Higher than normal tides resulting from Tuesday's full moon were the cause of the warning, as it was likely to cause more erosion and make the dunes vulnerable to further collapse.
Council is continuing to monitor the situation and is assessing the risks posed by the steep and unstable dune escarpment on public safety.
A visitor to the area "from down south, near Nambucca" who identified himself as Kyo, said he was not aware of the danger, despite being sunbathing right below a pandanus tree hanging from the edge of the dune at one end of Clarkes Beach.
"If it was really dangerous the lifesavers would have said something," he said, dismissing the risk.
Council staff will be continuing their clean-up of debris on Clarkes Beach this week and will make safe access ways if and where possible.