There are hundreds of jellyfish washed up on the beach at Tannum Sands.
There are hundreds of jellyfish washed up on the beach at Tannum Sands. Col Platten

Jellyfish, bluebottles wash up at Tannum beaches

TANNUM Sands beaches are covered in hundreds of jellyfish, with a number of different species spotted.

Resident of 25 years Colleen Platten posted a number of photos to Facebook, warning beachgoers to be aware of the danger.

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She said there were dozens of blubbers and bluebottles at Second Beach, but estimated there would be hundreds from the main beach up to Canoe Point.

"They're in all the beautiful little ponds in the rocks, where you'd take children," Mrs Platten warned.

She said the bluebottles were not much bigger than a 50 cent piece, but their tentacles were much longer.

Mrs Platten found out the hard way that bluebottles can still sting when they're dead.

A bluebottle from Tannum Sands beach.
A bluebottle from Tannum Sands beach. Contributed/Col Platten

Bundaberg region beaches also have been inundated by large numbers of jellyfish in the ocean and along the foreshore.

Regional operations manager of Surf Lifesaving Queensland Craig Holden said the catostylus, which are commonly referred to as blubber jellyfish, are on the move around Australia, with huge numbers first spotted in Moreton Bay.

Hundred of jellyfish have covered the beach at Tannum Sands.
Hundred of jellyfish have covered the beach at Tannum Sands. Col Platten

"They arrived on our local beaches not long after New Year's when the south-easterly winds started to increase.

"They may have been brought this way as a result of the winds and the rough seas associated with those winds."

In size and appearance, the jellyfish are a mushroom shaped bell ranging from five to 30 centimetres in diameter.

They have no tentacles but eight "fronds" or "frills" hanging underneath that can cause a sting much the same as a minor skin irritation.

"Although it is not considered a particularly nasty or painful sting - some people will react differently," Mr Holden said.

"Some people certainly have experienced painful stings from the blubber jelly but it usually depends on where on the body you have been stung."

The Australian Museum warns that bluebottles are not always obvious in the water.

Tentacles may break away in the surf and inflict stings just as potent as those from attached tentacles.

Even dead specimens stranded on the beach can still cause stings.

To avoid being stung do not touch these animals with bare skin and do not enter the water if they are present. 

IF YOU'RE STUNG BY A BLUEBOTTLE:

  • Leave the water immediately
  • If any part of the animal is still sticking to the skin, it should be gently lifted off with tweezers or a gloved hand. This will minimise the firing of more stinging capsules. 
  • Do not rub the area with wet sand or towel, or wash with alcohol
  • For milder stings, ice packs or local anaesthetic sprays are often effective in reducing pain.
  • In extreme cases resuscitation may be needed and medical attention should be sought. 

Source: Australian Museum



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