Mysterious 'mermaid-like' creature spotted on Susan Island
UPDATE, MONDAY: While the sighting of a mermaid on Susan Island turned out to be an April Fool's Day hoax, there is an element of truth to the resurrection of a blue-haired young woman with a fish-like tail.
Grafton Rowing Club, who created Clarissa the Queen of the Clarence, plan to give her a permanent home adjacent to the club's rowing shed.
Club members have commissioned the Men's Shed and Image Windows to construct a structure which should be completed by mid-April. They are hopeful the attraction of Clarissa grows and she can utilised as an icon for the Clarence Valley.
The Grafton Rowing Club has registered the name "Clarissa, Queen of the Clarence" and is pleased to present Clarissa to the Clarence Valley Council at no cost to help promote the river and the area.
ORIGINAL STORY: A mermaid was spotted resting on the banks of Susan Island early on Sunday morning, April 1, confirming reports of recent sightings of a young woman with a fish-like tail in the Clarence River.
A local river user who wished to remain anonymous managed to get close enough to get a full glimpse of the blue-haired female specimen and supplied a photograph to The Daily Examiner.
Her features were consistent with those of 'Clarissa', a mermaid who was reportedly sighted a few years ago on the back-up ferry at Lawrence.
At the time many locals, tourists and grey nomads flocked to the ferry approaches that day to witness the amazing spectacle. However, possibly because of shyness, she soon slipped back into the water and has not been seen again until now.
Early morning rowers from Grafton Rowing Club were the first to see 'a young woman with a fish-like tail playing in the river between Susan Island and the new Grafton Bridge' on Thursday morning, but were unsure of at the time what they had actually seen.
Later that morning Bill Dougherty claimed a similar sighting closer to the old bowling club. Mr Dougherty swims from his Grafton residence to Susan Island on a daily basis, and another riverside resident was adamant he'd seen Mr Dougherty actually approach the young woman to engage her in conversation on his daily swim.
Long term resident and historian Mr Greg Ryan brought to light an old legend regarding the Clarence River mermaids who provided navigation assistance to early mariners crossing the bar at Yamba and has speculated that after years of being dormant she has returned to Grafton.