Invasion of the jellyfish: 13,000 beach goers stung in just one week

Pablo Tucker
January 8, 2019

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) said over 2,600 were treated for stings last weekend alone, in what it described as an "epidemic", ABC News reported.

Surf Lifesaving Queensland said a "whopping" 3,595 people were stung by the bluebottle on the beaches of the northern state.

About 13,000 stings were recorded in the past week - three times more than in the corresponding period previous year. The association are warning beach goers to be extra vigilant in the sea and perhaps stay out of the water altogether, especially children or people who are allergic.

"I have never seen anything like this - ever", Sturges said.

Conditions eased on Monday, but remnants of the bluebottle armada (the correct term for a bunch of bluebottles) still dot the beaches and more than 200 people were treated for stings, mostly at the Sunshine Coast.

"Those figures, the 22,282, are for about five weeks and that's just one teeny tiny smidgen of Australia, so that is a lot".

According to the report, some 2630 people were stung across the weekend, with nearly 1000 hurt in a matter of hours on Sunday. Parademics and lifesavers treated thousands of people in which many had suffered anaphylactic shock.

Unusually strong winds pushed the jellyfish colonies close to shore.

They are most prevalent in sub-tropical regions but sometimes turn up en masse in North Queensland.

"Due to the northeasterly winds, we will continue to see bluebottles hanging around", the agency said in a separate post.

"Bluebottles have definitely been fairly active lately, pretty much throughout southeast Queensland", Dr Gershwin said.

SLSQ warned beach goers not to pick up the jellyfish stranded on the tide lines and if stung, advised people to take a very hot shower and apply ice.

"Some of the bluebottle sails are right-handed and some are left-handed, across the body, so when the wind comes up it only grabs the ones with the sail going the right way for that particular breeze".

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