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Warnings still not in place after box jellyfish attack

Rachael Shardlow five years on from her horrific ordeal when stung by a box jellyfish.
Rachael Shardlow five years on from her horrific ordeal when stung by a box jellyfish. Paul Braven

RACHAEL Shardlow will never get away from the after-effects of being stung by a box jellyfish - even though it happened five years ago.

The 15-year-old has to live with scarring, and she has one leg which required a skin graft for cosmedic purposes.

"I used to get teased at school, and called 'jellyfish girl' - but that doesn't happen so much now."

She said people in the past pointed at her and often asked what happened to her legs.

"I'm always the one who nags my friends when we go to the beach to be wary of jellyfish and make sure you are cautious."

Her comments come after 10-year-old Ebony Persad and her father Deo were stung by box jellyfish at Seventeen Seventy last week.

After making several trips to the hospital for treatment they are recovering well, but they believe there should be more educational signage to warn swimmers of the dangers.

The scars remain five years after Rachael Shardlow was stung by a box jellyfish.
The scars remain five years after Rachael Shardlow was stung by a box jellyfish. Paul Braven

And that's something Ruth Macklin and Geoff Shardlow have been campaigning for since their daughter Rachael's ordeal in the Calliope River.

Rachael received tentacle contact to 30% of her body, went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.

Rachael was in an induced coma for three days and wore a compression bandage for six months, but "thank God she survived", her mother Ruth said.

At the time Rachael's story was used to create educational books and documentaries.

Mr Shardlow said Gladstone Regional Council assured the family vinegar stations and education programs would be put in place - but, he says, they are still waiting, although some signs were posted at the river soon after the attack.

The council's parks and recreation portfolio holder, Cr Graham McDonald, said this week the responsibility for signage about beach conditions lay with surf lifesaving clubs.

"The council makes a considerable contribution to the lifesaving down that way for them to make sure the beaches are maintained."

Topics:  box jellyfish editors picks gladstone regional council jellyfish



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