Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Fraser Island lifesavers concerned over increase in Irukandji jellyfish stings

Fraser Island lifesavers concerned over increase in Irukandji jellyfish stings
January 8, 2019

Surf lifesavers are conducting stinger sweeps at Wathumba Creek on the western side of Fraser Island after two more people were flown from the area to hospital with suspected Irukandji stings at the weekend.

The incidents takes the number of people taken to hospital with suspected Irukandji stings in Queensland so far this season to more than 20, almost double the 10-year average.

The Surf Life Saving Queensland Coordinator for Wide Bay, Julie Davies, said lifesavers had found several Irukandji in their sweeps on Fraser Island.

Davies advised “on the western side of Fraser Island from Moon Point up to Wathumba Creek, we're doing stinger drags to see if we can catch any samples.

“(We are) also going to the campers and letting them know that there is a possibility there could be something in the water.

"We have caught three (Irukandji) last week and then I was over there yesterday, and we caught another two."

Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Service (AMSAS) Director Lisa Gershwin said Irukandji do not usually congregate around river mouths like Wathumba Creek, and the high number of stings in this location was more likely to do with the number of people.

"We don't have any association between Irukandjis and rivers.

"That wouldn't be the explanation for why people are being stung at Wathumba Creek. Maybe there are just a lot of people at Wathumba Creek."

Davies said the western side of Fraser Island was very busy with tourists during the school holidays, adding “so the chances of someone getting stung are greater, because the population is greater there.”

Davies said campers should always carry vinegar when four-wheel-driving on Fraser Island and consider wearing stinger suits.

Dr Gershwin said there was no evidence that any tropical Irukandji species had moved south.

Images: Lifesavers have found several Irukandji in their sweeps on Fraser Island over the weekend (top, courtesy of Surf Life Saving Queensland), an Irukandji jellyfish (middle) and a lifesaver wearing a stinger suit stands on a beach looking for Irukandji jellyfish in water inside a plastic container (below, courtesy of Surf Life Saving Queensland).

Related Articles

7th January 2019 - Thousands stung as record numbers of bluebottles swarm on southern Queensland beaches

2nd January 2019 - Airlie Beach lagoon drowning prompts Worksafe Queensland advice

18th November 2018 - Wi-Fi alerts to keep Queensland beachgoers safe this summer

7th February 2018 - New snorkelling and diving Code of Practice now in force in Queensland

10th January 2018 - Fraser Island Irukandji jellyfish discovery leads to warnings to swimmers

24th April 2017 - Fraser Island National Park renaming recognises Traditional Owners

3rd March 2017 - Record summer visits but no drownings on Queensland beaches

30th December 2016 - Swimmers warned over southerly spread of irukandji jellyfish

20th June 2016 - Cape York and Fraser Island World Heritage nominations to progress

15th May 2014 - Irukandji ‘forecast’ to warn Australian swimmers about presence of deadly stingers

20th December 2013 - North Queensland trial for Irukandji jellyfish warning system

18th March 2010 - Tourists threaten ‘dingo extinction’ on Fraser Island

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


SGL is an innovative and progressive lifestyle, leisure and community consulting practice, operated by Phillip Gray and active since 1988. SGL has undertaken an extensive range of sport,…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Recreation / Sport



Intelligenz solutions provide integrated software for Wellness, Spa, Fitness, Leisure Centres, Recreation Activities, Resort and Restaurant Management.

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology


TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues


Hydrocare Pool Services

Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 25 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Technology



PulseTec Solutions is a leading provider of software systems and solutions to the health and fitness industry for more than a decade. Our key products and services include ClientConnect studio and…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Technology / Venues


Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks



Aerobic Microphones Australia provides audio products for the fitness industry. Products include the sweat resistant Cyclemic and Aeromic headworn microphones and pouchbelts that are made in…

read more

Fitness / Technology



Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Surfaces / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business