Stay stinger smart in the wa­ter

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

WARN­INGS have been is­sued af­ter jel­ly­fish have have been spot­ted around Airlie Beach.

Royal Life Sav­ing spokesper­son Cal­lum Docherty said no jel­ly­fish were de­tected last week­end dur­ing rou­tine net­ting pro­ce­dures. How­ever, re­ports had been re­ceived of jel­ly­fish sight­ings in the ma­rina and Airlie Beach fore­shore.

Mr Docherty warned swim­mers not to be com­pla­cent when they headed out to the wa­ter.

“We didn’t find any­thing over the week­end; how­ever, a lot of peo­ple have said they have been see­ing them around,” he said.

“The safest op­tion is to swim in the Airlie Beach la­goon; other than that just stay in­side the nets and keep at least five me­tres away from the sides.”

Mr Docherty said Can­non­vale Beach re­turned wa­ter sam­ples that in­di­cated irukandji were present in the area.

“We found stuff that floats with irukandji, in­clud­ing things they eat when they are around,” he said.

The high-risk pe­riod for jel­ly­fish in the area ex­tends from Oc­to­ber to May.

Jel­ly­fish stings are com­monly as­so­ci­ated with burn­ing, prick­ling, sting­ing pain, red, brown or pur­plish tracks on the skin, itch­ing, swelling, tin­gling and numb­ness.

Se­vere symp­toms in­clude nau­sea, headache, mus­cle and joint prob­lems, weak­ness, fever, loss of consciousness, breath­ing dif­fi­culty and heart prob­lems.

Those look­ing to swim in the re­gion are also en­cour­aged to visit Cedar Creek falls.

Pre­cau­tions to take be­fore swim­ming on the beach in­clude wear­ing a full-body swim­suit, swim­ming in life guard pro­tected ar­eas dur­ing des­ig­nated hours and en­sur­ing vine­gar is avail­able in the event of a stinger in­ci­dent. If stung, be sure to seek ur­gent med­i­cal at­ten­tion and call 000.

PHOTO: KATHRYN CYGAN

STINGER SEA­SON: Club cap­tain Calum Docherty warns peo­ple to be safe from jel­ly­fish.

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