Irukandji discovered off Fraser Island

AN IRUKANDJI jellyfish has been found off Fraser Island waters, Surf Life Saving Queensland has confirmed.

The potentially deadly Irukandji was found at Arch Cliffe during a drag conducted by lifesavers on Sunday, January 7.

James Cook University Associate Professor Jamie Seymour was sent the sample which he identified as a Carukia Barnesi, a true Irukandji.

SLSQ regional manager Craig Holden said the discovery of the Irukandji meant beachgoers visiting the western side of Fraser Island needed to take extra care.

"We're urging everyone to stay out of the water entirely on that western side of the island while conditions are hot and humid," he said.

"We don't want to cause widespread panic but it is really important for people to exercise caution and put safety first at all times."

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The drags, along with a public awareness campaign, have been conducted by SLSQ on the western side of the island since December 27.

Last summer 17 stings were reported on the island.

Prof Seymour conducted drags and confirmed the presence of Irukandji.

Northerly winds traditionally cause stingers to wash up on the Fraser Coast over the Christmas holidays however it was previously uncommon for Irukandji to drift this far south.

They are found in the far north and rarely seen below Gladstone.

Jellyfish season is roughly from the end of October to early May.

Life savers will continue their drags until January 21.

STINGER SAFETY

TIPS

  • Wear protective clothing (wet suit or Lycra body suit), to reduce exposure to potential stings.
  • Protect your face and avoid putting your head underwater at high-risk locations.
  • In the absence of a full Lycra suit, wear other protective clothing such as long pants tucked into socks.
  • Enter water slowly as marine stingers will often swim away from people given the opportunity and time.
  • If you are planning a trip to Fraser Island take vinegar with you.

TREATMENT

  • Remove casualty from the water if safe to do so.
  • Treat using DRSABCD (Danger, Response, Send for help, Airway, Breathing, CPR, Defibrillation) first aid method.
  • Call for help - dial triple zero (000) for medical assistance.
  • Promptly administer CPR if required.
  • Treat the sting - douse the area liberally with vinegar for at least 30 seconds.
  • Monitor the casualty and seek further medical assistance if available.


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