Marine bluebottle washed up on the beach.
Marine bluebottle washed up on the beach. Trevor Veale

Swimmers sweat on wind change to blow away bluebottles

SWIMMERS and surfers are sweating on a shift in winds to bring some reprieve from a wave of bluebottles stinging thousands of beachgoers.

Almost 2300 beachgoers were stung in two days across the region, with Coolum (332), Peregian (185), Discovery Beach and North Peregian (more than 100 each) among the worst hit.

Prevailing north-easterly winds which had blown for the past few days had driven the stingers onto Coast shores in droves.

Surf Life Saving Queensland Sunshine Coast regional manager Aaron Purchase said more stings had been reported on Wednesday, but "nowhere near" the volumes that were reported on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

He said traditionally the north-easterly winds that only blew for a day or less would only bring a few bluebottles, if any, onto Coast beaches.

Have you seen a lot of bluebottles around this summer?

This poll ended on 03 February 2019.

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Everywhere.

50%

No, I've been lucky.

0%

A few, but nothing out of the ordinary.

50%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

But these north-easterlies had prevailed for a number of days straight, which had brought the bluebottles close in such vast numbers.

There were reports of plenty of bluebottles along Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore on Tuesday as well.

Mr Purchase said the winds on Wednesday were going more easterly than north-easterly.

North-easterlies would blow again Thursday before starting to shift around.

"As the week goes by we should hopefully see less of them around," Mr Purchase said.

South-easterly winds would return by late-Monday and into Tuesday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, which Mr Purchase said would help "get rid of them".

Mr Purchase said in rare cases, probably about one in every 500, victims were taken to hospital for treatment of a sting, but the reactions varied between people.



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