The Australians are a tough bunch. You have to be in an environment where it seems like everything is dangerous, the wildlife, the ocean and everything that the continent can throw at you. In fact, 2,433 tourists have died in the last 7 years in Australia according to this article. As one ranger points out …
Ranger Craig Adams, of the Australian Reptile Park, said: “Going bush here is a far cry from the urban European lifestyle. A mud pool can hold a five-metre crocodile. And while koalas are cute, people don’t realise one will give you a nasty bite or carve you up with its claws. A wombat can knock you over.”
While in Sydney I got a text from my wife (the family was out at Manly beach surfing and hanging on the beach while I worked) that both boys had been stung by a bluebottle (type of jellyfish), the beach had been cleared by a shark sighting, they had narrowed the swim area due to overly strong rip tides (a 27 year old man died the next weekend in a rip current) and they were busy announcing that a 7 year old was missing (he was with a school trip I imagine – and was found as there was nothing in the paper). Exciting beach.
The lifeguard was collecting these after dinner, they were staked all along the beach.
All along the beach were thousands of blue bottles, washed up from the strong winds and currents. Dangerous but pretty.
But it doesn’t stop the Aussies.
Update (1/9): I continue to marvel at the number of tourist deaths in Australia. It is not like the Caribbean, it is definitely more of a adventure vacation. Found this cracked.com piece on Australia very funny. A small sample:
Ah, but the tropical beaches, you say! Surely the paradise on Earth that is the Australian beach makes up for an entire continent of biological weapons. And it’s true: Australia is known for having some of the best beaches in the world…all you have to worry about are the Saltwater Crocs, Great White Sharks, poisonous Stonefish, or being stung by the Box Jellyfish: The deadliest and most painful sting of any Jellyfish species in the world.
I love the ‘Shark Sighted today’ sign… It clearly happens enough to need a sign.
They hammer them in all along the beach when a roving helicopter ( I heard funded by a bank) sees the shark.
Imagine this … Big enough to be seen from a helicopter!
They don’t bother with the Jellyfish signs, those nasties are there all the time.