Cairns based underwater filmmaker Ben Cropp has visited Magra Islet at least 10 times during his more than 50-year long career.
Cairns based underwater filmmaker Ben Cropp has visited Magra Islet at least 10 times during his more than 50-year long career.

Why swimming at our remote beaches is risky business

AN underwater filmmaker who has regularly visited the Cape York sand cay where a young woman was attacked by a shark says it was very unwise to go swimming there at dusk.

The 20-year-old woman remained in a stable condition in Cairns Hospital, after her leg was mauled by a suspected tiger shark in the attack near Magra Islet, off Cape Grenville, on Sunday about 6.30pm.

The woman was a crew member on-board an MG Kailis cray fishing trawler, and had been snorkelling off the back of the boat observing grouper when her leg was grabbed by the shark.

She was flown to Lockhart River, and then to Cairns by rescuers.

Cairns based underwater filmmaker Ben Cropp has visited Magra Islet at least 10 times during his more than 50-year long career.

He said he had never seen any dangerous sharks in the sandy cay's waters, but believed it was still very unwise to go swimming in the area at dusk.

"It's a pretty standard island, but trawlers anchor behind there, and the trawlers always have the habit of cleaning their nets as they come into anchor, which means they can attract sharks.

"There may still be (fish) clinging in there, and so sharks will naturally hang around the trawlers."