Swarms of jellyfish off Redcliffe spark warning

SWIMMERS at Sunshine Coast beaches are being urged to keep a lookout for jellyfish after a massive swarm was spotted from the air at Redcliffe.

A photo of the Blue Blubbers was posted by Penny Dahl from the Australian Traffic Network yesterday morning.

The jellyfish are common along the east coast of Australia but are not normally seen in such numbers.

Dave Andrews suggested on Twitter that they may be trying to get together for Christmas, while another said they flourished in warmer waters.

A marine biologist told New Corp that jellyfish numbers fluctuate over time and may be abundant for several years and then not seen for a while.

He said the bloom appeared to be part of a recurring series of events about this time of year in Moreton Bay.

About two weeks ago there was a big invasion of jellyfish around Maroochydore, even coming into the Maroochy River at Cotton Tree.

Earlier this month, a Sydney man dived head-first into a jellyfish at Sunshine Beach.

Andrew Barrs had been surfing for half-an-hour when he duck-dived under a wave and ended up with a face full of jellyfish.

"I felt something brush across my face and pretty much instantly I started getting intensely painful stinging and burning sensations across my eyes, mouth and nose," he said.

"I knew I'd been stung by something and tried to just keep ducking my head under the water to ease it, but after a few minutes I had a lot of trouble focusing my sight and felt like my left eye was closing up and swollen."

He paddled in to shore, but the pain increased to the point where he couldn't open his eyes at all.

"That's when Dave (a stranger) and his wife came past on a walk and asked me what was wrong as I was grimacing and probably swearing," he said.

"He carried my board for 600 or so metres and led me back to the surf club where he gave me some ice, which eased the pain."

After 30 minutes he was able to open his eyes.

Lifesavers say the best treatment is with warm water or ice.

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