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Jellyfish protection on a Whitsundays Bareboat Charter

May 8, 2008
Preface

One of the most frequently asked questions of bareboat charters companies in the Whitsundays is "Do I have to be concerned about jelly fish stings". The simple answer is Yes. There are 2 species of jellyfish that you should be aware of, (Chironex fleckeri) the Box Jellyfish and (Carukia barnesi) commonly known as the Irukandgi. Both have deaths attributed to them even though it is extremely rare.

Time of Year

January has the most frequently recorded stings. Stings have been attributed to the Box Jelly during all months of the year but far and away the most frequent recorded stings occur between October and April. I would be interested to see how the recorded stings related to the increased numbers of tourist since this is also the peak season for them

Symptoms

The intriguing part about the Irukandji sting is that it usually goes unnoticed until about half an hour later when the symptom start to manifest themselves. These include increased heart rate, vomiting, sweating, chest pains and a feeling anticipated fear. The symptoms ebb to return up to half an hour later and the cycle continues progressively getting worse.

Treatment

First aid is usually to douse the affected area with vinegar, although this does little to reduce the affects of the toxin already in the system it does neutralise any further stings. As with treatment of other kinds of venomous bite some suggest a pressure bandage is beneficial. Bareboaters should contact their charter company as soon as they are made aware of the situation and follow their instructions. Usually a airlift to Mackay Hospital is needed for constant observation and pain management.

Protection

Best precautions are to wear what is commonly referred to as a "Stinger Suite" any reputable Bareboat Charter company will either provide them or refer you to where you can hire them. They are not a fashion statement especially for the more portly of us but they have a two fold purpose in that they are excellent for stopping sunburn which by the way is way more common a reason for spoiling a bareboat holiday than jellyfish stings

Finally

I believe the probability of being stung by an Irukandji while bareboat chartering in the Whitsundays is quite remote but the precaution of wearing a stinger suite is not a high price to pay for piece of mind. When my family is snorkelling we all wear them. They are not a great fashion statement especially for the ladies but a pair of boardies over the top does wonders for the look. See you on the water.
About the Author
A Bareboat Charter in the Whitsundays. May be just the thing you and your family needs. For places to see and visit go to Places to go During Your Whitsundays Bareboat Charter to explore this adventure
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