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Stinger suits urged for island after irukandji reports

STINGER VICTIM: A 13-year-old Yeppoon girl about to be taken aboard the rescue helicopter.
STINGER VICTIM: A 13-year-old Yeppoon girl about to be taken aboard the rescue helicopter. Contributed

VISITORS to Great Keppel Island are being urged to wear stinger suits when swimming following reports of irukandji jellyfish in the area.

On Tuesday afternoon the RACQ Capricorn Rescue helicopter, crew and medical team airlifted a 13-year-old Yeppoon girl from Great Keppel Island.

The teenager was treated on site by a doctor aboard the chopper and intensive care paramedic for a suspected irukandji jellyfish sting and arrived in Rockhampton Base Hospital at about 6.30pm in a stable condition.

The girl was released from Rockhampton Base Hospital yesterday morning.

Yeppoon Surf Life Saving Club captain Lorrie Johansen said while he hadn't ever heard of irukandji jellyfish at Yeppoon main beach, reports of the deadly stingers, which are believed to be the most venomous creature in the world, were not uncommon.

"Stingers seem to always be around the island a lot," Mr Johansen said.

"If you're swimming over at the island or around it, always wear a stinger suit."

A tiny but fully grown deadly Irukandji jellyfish is placed next to match sticks to provide a size comparison in this photo taken at James Cook University in Cairns.
A tiny but fully grown deadly Irukandji jellyfish is placed next to match sticks to provide a size comparison in this photo taken at James Cook University in Cairns. Brian Cassey

The GKI stinger incident was followed by a second irukandji jellyfish sting at Hook Island near Mackay yesterday morning.

A 15-year-old boy was stung off Hook Island while snorkelling with his family.

The boy's quick thinking family assisted in the recovery effort by transporting the boy to Hayman Island.

The boy was stabilised and transported to Mackay Base Hospital by the CQ Rescue helicopter service.

STINGER SAFETY

 Wear stinger suits while in the water

 If stung, leave the water and douse the stung area with vinegar to neutralise the stinging cells.

 Do not wash with fresh or sea water or rub with towels or sand.

 Pick off any remnants of the tentacles

 Immediately seek medical assistance

Topics:  editors picks great keppel island irukandji jellyfish stingers



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