A canoe club in far north Queensland has been forced to relocate over fears crocodiles lurking nearby could dine on paddlers.
Cocky crocs lurking in an inlet in far north Queensland have forced a canoe club to relocate over fears paddlers could be attacked.
Frightened canoeists are having to veer around the two- to three-metre long crocodiles while training at dawn in a waterway at Port Douglas north of Cairns.
Sightings have become more frequent over the past two years, and last week paddlers were forced out of the water when a 2.5 metre croc went within 10 metres of their canoe.
“I think they’re getting all too familiar and getting closer and closer,” canoe coach Monique Johnson told AAP.
“They’re not swimming away which worries me. They’re defiantly sitting there; their heads are up, their full body in view.
“Everyone gets all jittery.”
Ms Johnson, who has paddled in the inlet for seven years, says it’s too dangerous for the club to remain in the inlet.
She believes increased boat activity may have drawn more crocs to the area.
Children haven’t joined the club over fears the crocs will attack and adult members have left for similar reasons.
On Tuesday, the local council granted the club permission to relocate to a beach on the eastern side of the town where there are fewer croc sightings.
Ms Johnson expects the club to double in size after the move later this year.
She says it’s easier for the canoe club to move than to try to relocate the reptiles.
Meanwhile, rangers are searching for a 4.5 metre croc spotted near a rowing club at Innisfail, south of Cairns, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection says.
Under the Queensland government’s croc removal scheme, crocs considered a threat to people in Townsville, Hinchinbrook, along the Cassowary Coast and in the Cairns region are relocated.