Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is urging caution as stinger nets return to Townsville beaches this week (October 28).
The rollout of stinger resistant enclosures across the region signals the start of stinger season, with beachgoers advised to now cover up.
Stinger nets will be installed at Townsville beaches this week, with all nets set to be in place by Friday 1 November.
SLSQ Regional Manager North Barrier Luke Wilson said it was vital that beachgoers remain vigilant over the coming months.
“It’s really important that beachgoers take all steps possible to protect themselves in and around the water this stinger season,” he said.
“Covering up with appropriate clothing and staying within the stinger nets at all times will give people the best chance possible of avoiding a nasty sting.
“We encourage anyone entering the water to wear protective clothing such as a wetsuit or lycra bodysuit. Failing this, a long-sleeved rash shirt is probably the next best option.”
Mr Wilson said lifeguards and lifesavers would continue to perform regular stinger drags in and around patrol areas.
“As the stinger nets aren’t 100 per cent stinger proof, our drags will allow us to identify if any stingers do manage to make their way into the enclosures. In the event a stinger is identified, we will close the beach immediately,” he said.
“We also urge swimmers to refrain from sitting on, playing near, or interfering with the stinger enclosures, as jellyfish can sometimes wash over the top or through the sides.
“Any swimmers who are stung should immediately notify the lifeguards or lifesavers on duty.”
Stinger Season Tips:
- Always swim at patrolled beaches within stinger resistant enclosures.
- As stinger nets are not 100% stinger proof, it is important to wear protective clothing (wetsuit or lycra bodysuit), to reduce exposure to potential stings.
- Enter the water slowly as box jellyfish and other marine stingers will sometimes swim away from people given the opportunity and time.