Irukandji southern invasion confirmed with shocking find

Lifesavers have found Irukandji off Fraser Island.
Lifesavers have found Irukandji off Fraser Island.

SURF Lifesaving Queensland has confirmed the southern march of the deadly Irukandji jellyfish is under way.

Lifesavers confirmed an Irukandji was found during a stinger drag at Arch Cliff on Fraser Island on Sunday, January 7.

Swimmers have been urged to stay out of the water on the entire western side of the island when conditions are hot and humid.

The find was confirmed by James Cook University associate professor Jamie Seymour and lifesavers are now advising extreme caution in the area.

The extremely venomous, tiny jellyfish was found during daily stinger drags which have been undertaken since December 27, following a spate of serious stings reported on Fraser Island in 2016/17.

The daily drags will continue until January 21 on the western side of Fraser Island.

SLSQ regional manager Craig Holden advised anyone stung on Fraser Island to douse the area with vinegar as soon as possible and call Triple-0 immediately.

"We don't want to cause widespread panic, but it is really important for people to exercise caution and put safety first at all times. This includes taking a bottle of vinegar with you if you are heading to the island, to be prepared to treat a sting," Mr Holden said.

There were fears the deadly stingers could be making their way south towards the Sunshine Coast after the series of stings last year.

So far Irukandji have not made it to Sunshine Coast waters but their presence off Fraser Island is a reminder to remain vigilant.

On December 20, 2017, the Daily reported a massive spike in bluebottle stings with 551 recorded on the Coast in just 48 hours.

Topics:  fraser island marine environment marine life marine species stingers sunshine coast surf lifesaving

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