Beach re­opens af­ter spate of jel­ly­fish

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

FOUR Mile Beach has been re-opened af­ter three irukandji stings, 40 box jel­ly­fish caught out­side the net and fire jel­ly­fish found in­side the nets in the past week.

With the calmer seas has come an in­flux of dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of jel­ly­fish - clos­ing the nets for five days from last Thurs­day un­til Mon­day - and life­savers re­mains on high alert.

“The stinger nets are there to keep out box­ies and Port Dou­glas was open be­cause the stinger nets are do­ing their job,” Surf lifesaving NQ branch re­gional man­ager Collin Sparkes said.

“In say­ing that we had three irukandji stings on Jan­uary 12.”

A 45-year-old wo­man was be­ing treated on the beach when the life­savers re­ceived a call from a med­i­cal cen­tre alert­ing them that two other peo­ple had been stung.

“Be­cause of a de­lay in get­ting stung and get­ting symp­toms, they had left the beach and hadn’t told any­one they had been stung - or didn’t know if it was a mi­nor ir­ri­ta­tion,” Mr Sparks said.

The fire jel­ly­fish (Mor­bakka) found in­side the safety net are sim­i­lar to the irukandji jell­fish, ac­cord­ing to Mr Sparkes.

“They are big­ger and don’t pack quite as big a punch but still knock you around, we net­ted them when we had done the north nets in the morn­ing,” he said.

“The 40 box jel­ly­fish (chi­ronex) was the lesser of two evils, we com­monly call them the quadie and that’s what we net­ted out­side the net, but gen­er­ally when we get the quadies we get the other ones.

“Peo­ple should not to swim out­side of the nets or on closed beaches.

“Wear­ing pro­tec­tive is also im­por­tant, es­pe­cially for small chil­dren, who are at a higher risk due to their size.”

Feel­ing the st­ing: Four Mile Beach

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