It’s that time of the year again – the jelly fish are coming.
With their annual arrival, particularly from Sydney through northern Queensland, the pretty blue bottles are washing up onto our beaches around Australia.
If you love surf fishing, there’s nothing worse than having to worry about these pesky little creatures. Even when just on the sand throwing on a pair of all season light weight breathable waders over a pair shorts or at least long wading pants allows you to concentrate on fishing rather than dodging the invisible stinging tentacles. When bluebottles are in season it can be impossible to enter the surf in some places without risking your life with these potentially lethal little creatures, but it can also be impossible to go near the sand where they might wash up. The tentacles are very thin, light and nearly invisible on unless great care is used to watch your every step. They are invisible when in the water. Always follow any warnings and avoid the water when bluebottles are present as even when wearing waders, as any splash, fall or putting your hand in the water may brush the tentacles against you.
Most beachgoers in Australia swim at non-tropical beaches, and will likely to come across the more harmless, though perhaps still painful, non-tropical jellyfish varieties. For the average person, being stung by a typical jellyfish won’t be leathal, however, for the very young, elderly, people who may be allergic to them or in extreme cases, any sting can present further complications.
How to treat a bluebottle sting:
- Find a place to rest with someone who can watch over you.
- Don’t rub the sting area.
- Rinse the stung area well with seawater to remove any visible stinging cells.
- Place the stung area in hot water (at a temperature you can comfortably tolerate)
If the pain is unrelieved by the heat, or if hot water is not available, apply cold packs wrapped in ice.
If the symptoms persist or for stings that cover a particularly large area, or across the throat & face call “000” (if in Australia).