Bluebottles wash up in blue moon Whitsunday beach influx
WHITSUNDAY Coast Life Saving Club manager Calum Docherty has never seen so many bluebottles wash up on local beaches.
Mr Docherty said lifeguards had seen bluebottles on Boat Haven and Whitehaven Beach and warned they could pack quite a punch.
“The sting is not as severe as an irukandji or box jellyfish but it can be as painful,” said Mr Docherty, who wasn’t sure why so many had arrived.
“Your regular case is not going to be as bad, however if you get stung on the neck or face or you are allergic, then it can be quite severe.”
Mr Docherty said the normal treatment of vinegar for box jellyfish and irukandji was not effective in treating bluebottle stings. “With bluebottles it is better to remove the tentacles with gloves or tweezers and put (the affected area) in hot water that you can tolerate,” he said.
“If you don’t have hot water, use an ice pack.”
The potential to be stung from a bluebottle even when it is removed from the water is something to be aware of – Mr Docherty suggested wearing shoes on the beach to mitigate against the risk.
Mr Docherty said the influx of bluebottles was a rare phenomenon in the Whitsundays.
Since last week numbers had tapered off but Whitsunday Coast Life Saving Club urged beach-goers to be vigilant in the coming weeks.
MARINE STING: Bluebottles have been washing up on Whitsunday beaches in the last week.