Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has renewed calls for beachgoers to exercise extreme care and caution in the waters off the western coast of Fraser Island, following the confirmed capture of an Irukandji jellyfish (Carukia barnesi) between Moon Point and Wathumba Creek.
The specimen was caught by lifeguards during SLSQ’s recent drags, and has since been identified as the highly-dangerous stinger species by James Cook University’s Dr Jamie Seymour.
While not the first Irukandji captured off Fraser Island, SLSQ Lifesaving Services Coordinator Julie Davis said it served as a strong reminder for all beachgoers to protect themselves while in and around the water.
“SLSQ has been conducting proactive stinger drags on Fraser Island for the past three years now, and we’ve caught a number of stingers and specimens over that time,” she said.
“This latest capture highlights how important it is for all swimmers, fishers, boaters and anyone else venturing into the water on the western side of the island to exercise extreme care and caution at all times.
“Our drags have shown there are high-risk and potentially deadly stingers off Fraser Island, and it’s critical that anyone entering the water this time of year is wearing an appropriate stinger suit at all times.”
The recent capture follows four suspected Irukandji stings on the western side of Fraser Island since November.
SLSQ will continue its stinger drags and community education on the island over the coming weeks, using the opportunity to engage with beachgoers and educate them about stinger safety.
For stinger safety information, please visit www.lifesaving.com.au.