Fatal jellyfish spotted at popular swimming cove
Irukandji jellyfish have returned to Pilbara waters, with three stings recently reported at popular Dampier swimming spot Hearson’s Cove.
A WA Country Health Service spokesman said two young men and a little girl presented at Nickol Bay Hospital on Saturday, February 6 with marine stings, diagnosed as irukandji stings.
“They were treated and observed and discharged from the emergency department,” he said.
“None of them required hospital admission, which is not uncommon with irukandji.
"They’d all been swimming in the same area.”
The reports prompted the City of Karratha to post a public warning on Facebook ad- vising people to avoid the cove that day.
Irukandji stings are lifethreatening and bring on symptoms including back pain, nausea and vomiting.
Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services director Lisa-Ann Gershwin said the incidence of irukandji in the Pilbara should not be underestimated.
“There’s definitely a fairly long history of irukandji in that area,” she said.
“Though they don’t tend to be quite as common there as they are in Broome or Cairns, they are regular and we get them every year.”
She recommended wearing protective full-body swimsuits to prevent stings, applying vinegar to neutralise them, and seeking medical help for symptoms.
An Irukandji Jellyfish, the sting of which can be deadly.