Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is urging beachgoers to stay safe this stinger season, with nets returning to local beaches from Monday, 29 October.
SLSQ lifeguards and lifesavers will continue to perform regular stinger drags in and around patrol areas, with lifeguard supervisor Russell Blanchard encouraging all swimmers to remain vigilant this summer.
“It’s really important that all beachgoers are taking 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 everyone entering the water to wear protecting clothing such as a wetsuit or lycra body suit but, if you don’t have that, a long-sleeved shirt and pants is probably the next best option.
“While the nets aren’t 100 percent stinger proof, our lifesavers and lifeguards will conduct regular drags in and around the enclosures, and immediately close a beach if any dangerous stingers are found.”
Mr Blanchard also urged 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,” Mr Blanchard said.
Tips for safer swimming in tropical waters:
- Swim in stinger resistant enclosures where provided. Look for, and observe, warning signs.
- Stinger resistant enclosures afford a high degree of protection against potentially dangerous marine stingers; however, they are not 100% ‘stinger proof’Do not swim when beaches are closed.
- Lifesavers regularly drag inside and outside the net for dangerous marine stingers. If any specimens are found the net will be closed. To avoid stings, check with your local lifeguard or lifesaver.
- Wear protective clothing (wet suit or Lycra body suit), to reduce exposure to potential stings. In the absence of a full Lycra suit, wear other protective clothing such as long pants tucked into socks.
- Enter water slowly as Box Jellyfish and other marine stingers will often swim away from people given the opportunity and time.