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SLSQ warn of Irukandji threat off Fraser Island

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is warning beachgoers of the threat of Irukandji off the western coast of Fraser Island.

There have been 11 reported Irukandji stings between December 11, 2018, and January 8 this year.

SLSQ Lifesaving Services Coordinator Wide Bay Julie Davis said while the number of stings was on par with previous seasons, visitors to Fraser Island needed to be aware of the potential dangers.

“We are currently conducting daily stinger drags to identify potential Irukandji species in the ocean on the western side of Fraser,” Ms Davis said.

“Since December 27 we have found six potential Irukandji. Our marine stinger expert has confirmed the species found are from the Irukandji family, but won’t be able to identify the specific creatures until analysis of the specimen is completed.

“We’ll continue our stinger drags until January 26, weather permitting, as December and January are the prime times for Irukandji.”

Ms Davis said SLSQ staff were also conducting community awareness activities between Moon Point and Wathumba Creek to educate visitors of the presence of Irukandji.

“It’s important that those who come to the island are aware of the potential threat,” she said.

“We’re advising beachgoers that if they want to take a swim in the ocean, a stinger suit will offer the best protection.

“Our team are also chatting to campers, pulling up alongside charter boats, talking to those travelling to the island via barge and also handing out safety information on the mainland. In short, we are doing all we can to spread the word.”

Ms Davis said if you suffer a suspected Irukandji sting, you should douse the area with vinegar immediately, dial 000 and get to a hospital as soon as possible.

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