by Peter Carruthers
NOTHING is as innocuous as portable shade tent at the lagoon on a hot summer's day, right?
As a Cannonvale resident on a trip to the Airlie lagoon discovered this morning.
Nathalie Blomme took her 13-year-old son and her visiting 28-year-old daughter from Western Australia down for a dip when she noticed a lifeguard striding toward her.
"We put the shade sail up like I have done on 15 or 20 other occasions and I noticed a lifeguard coming towards me and I thought 'he mustn't be coming to speak to me' but he continued to make a bee-line for me and he said 'you cant put that up'," she said.
"And I said 'sorry' and he said 'nah you can't put it up, council doesn't allow them to be put up because they damage the retic" (reticulated piping under the ground).
Ms Blomme said she didn't understand the decision as the pegs used to hold the structure were little plastic one no longer than 15cms.
"The guy was very polite about it and he was just doing his job but at the end of the day we live in the Whitsundays and have got very, very strong sun and I think it's a bit of a silly request from the council."
The lifeguard told Ms Bloome he would "turn a blind eye" today but "obviously people have been told off as I was the only one that had a tent up today".
The "gobsmacked" mother of two then made social media users aware of the action taken by Whitsunday Regional Council employee.
A spokesperson for the council said there was no policy on the shade structures themselves, only on the pegs used to anchor the tent to the ground.
"There is no ban on the fold out shades used for shade," he said.