Latest beach disaster sparks fear of bigger damage
WHAT may seem like one more funny photo on social media of the latest jock feeling the effects of Mudlo Rocks, is beyond a joke for one Cooloola Coast local.
Jim Cole, who owns Tin Can Bay Boat Hire, is sick of people abusing their right to drive on Rainbow Beach and believes the ongoing risky and attention seeking acts could result in a complete beach access shut down.
"Every man and his dog who has a 4WD thinks they can run the gauntlet and get past Mudlo Rocks," he said.
"What would they think if we came to their town and trashed their local attraction.
"Worst of all it's a national park."
The most recent number to top the growing fool's tally is a Volkswagen Amarok that came into grief on Friday when a false move around the rocks meant hours later the pricey Ute was up to its doors in water as the tide treated it like a tin can.
Mr Cole, a regular to Rainbow Beach who came across the stranded car later Friday afternoon, said if the number plate graveyard continued to grow from "drivers unwillingly trashing their vehicles", he feared a blanket block-out would cost all beach goers.
He said not only does the practice put people at risk and unnecessarily pull on resources in rescue efforts, the untold damage to the beach with radiator fluid, petrol and oil leaking into the ocean is irreversible, often still noticeable days after an incident.
"That beach is there for all of us to enjoy and I can guarantee nobody wants to see it shut down," he said.
"If we don't have that beach access, this whole area will suffer.
"It would seriously hurt this town."
When the Mudlo Rocks, just south of the Rainbow Beach patrol area, are exposed they are the only obstacle on the 12km beach drive to Double Island Point, but an alternative inland track at Freshwater still gives visitors access to the point.
He said given the alternative track and wealth of information available for crossing the rocks, people disobeying common sense should be banned from the beach driving on national parks for an extended period.
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"People caught doing this should be blacklisted," he said, suggesting the use of a boom gate and camera initiative to police drivers when the beach is unsafe.
He said sadly though the mentality seems to be: "They've got a 4WD and they can go anywhere."
For information on whether it is safe to pass Mudlo Rocks, check out the following: