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Whitsundays Stinger Season

The Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park provide the perfect home environment for a huge variety of marine life, including a number of different jellyfish species.

This elusive creature can be found almost anywhere in the water and many are so small, they appear almost invisible.

Being stung by a jellyfish is a very rare occurrence however it is best to always take preventative measures and be prepared.

Remember, though many species of jellyfish are harmless, we must be very aware that the Irukandji, box jellyfish and other more dangerous species are found in the Whitsundays.

Prevention

It is good to know that ‘stinger season’ generally runs during the warmer months of the year, and in the Whitsundays this is from October to May.

If you are heading out on a day or overnight trip, your safety is the crew’s priority, and they will issue a stinger suit (wetsuit) to each guest, at little or no cost, to minimise any risk of being stung. 

It is important to wear your wetsuit during any water-based activities, including swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving.

If you are taking a dip on your own accord in the swimming enclosures off Airlie Beach, a stinger suit is certainly recommended as smaller types of jellyfish can enter enclosures. Suits can be hired.

Treatment

Queensland Government issued procedure if yourself or someone is stung:

  1. Call for medical help (ring 000)
  2. Assess the patient and perform CPR if necessary
  3. Douse the sting site with vinegar as soon as possible. Vinegar inactivates the stinging cells, preventing them from injecting more venom.
  4. Reassure the patient and keep calm until medical help arrives.
  5. Wait at least 45 minutes before re-entering the water as symptoms of Irukandji syndrome can take a while to develop.
  6. If in doubt, treat as Irukandji.
Angie
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