Blue­bot­tles wash up in blue moon Whit­sun­day beach in­flux

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

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.

PHOTO: FACE­BOOK

MARINE ST­ING: Blue­bot­tles have been wash­ing up on Whit­sun­day beaches in the last week.

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