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Nets No Sure Bet With Irukandji

By Ki Ki Taylor

A 19-year old woman was rushed to Proserpine hospital after being stung by an irukandji jellyfish while swimming at Airlie Beach.

The woman was taken to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition after being stung while swimming at about 1pm on Monday. She was released from hospital on Tuesday afternoon. The incident comes after Airlie Beach resident Melinda Webster posted a warning on Facebook that she had been stung by an irukandji while swimming in the netted area at Boathaven beach on Sunday afternoon.

Royal Life Saving spokesman Callum Docherty said although nets had been installed to make beaches safer, stings still could occur. “The best thing to do is to stay at least five metres away from the edge (of the stinger net) to avoid being stung,” he said.

Mr Docherty said it was important that swimmers paid attention to warnings and took necessary steps to ensure safety.

“We’re in stinger season so they’ll always be around,” he said. “The safest option is the stinger net but stings are still possible.

“Make sure you always wear a stinger suit or a long-sleeved rash vest.”

Mr Docherty said if someone suspects they’ve been stung by an irukandji or box jellyfish, to call 000.

Source: Whitsunday Times.

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