Hundreds of bluebottle jellyfish have washed ashore at the Point Cook Coastal Park, but should you be concerned?
Throughout Australia, bluebottles are more common on exposed ocean beaches when strong onshore northeasterly winds wash them ashore, they are rarely found in sheltered waters.
Most Australians swim at non-tropical beaches, and so are most likely to come across the common Bluebottle as found at Point Cook.
For the average person, getting stung by one will present no immediate danger, however, for the very young, elderly, people allergic to them or in extreme cases, they can present further complications.
It is important not to touch seemingly dead bluebottles either as the venom remains active, and nematocysts can still fire long after the animals are dead and dried.
How to treat a Bluebottle sting:
- Find a place to rest with someone who can watch over you.
- Don’t rub the stung area.
- Wash off any remaining tentacles with saltwater. Rinsing the stung area well with seawater will remove any invisible stinging cells.
- Immerse the stung area in hot water at a temperature you can comfortably tolerate. Studies have shown that 40 degrees Celsius will produce relief after 10 minutes. The heat is important as it kills the protein in the venom.
- If the symptoms persist or for stings that cover a particularly large area, or across the throat & face call triple zero (in Australia).