Beachgoers are warned to steer clear of bluebottles on the Coffs Coast.
Beachgoers are warned to steer clear of bluebottles on the Coffs Coast. Bruce Thomas

Bluebottle warning for Coffs Coast

IF you enter the surf along the Coffs Coast you may be in for a nasty surprise.

Bluebottles have been appearing in vast numbers in recent days and that’s prompted a lifeguard warning for beachgoers to watch out.

Coffs Harbour City Council’s senior lifeguard Sonny Tisdell said the onshore winds and warm water had combined to provide ideal conditions for the stingers to appear on our beaches.

“In particular the incoming tide assists them. They travel with the wind currents as well as the ocean currents,” Mr Tisdell said.

“Easterly winds are even more favourable for them to start appearing.

“I would expect most beaches in our area would be seeing signs of them. We’ve had quite a few here at Sawtell and this morning and there were a lot on the high tide mark.”

Mr Tisdell said the best thing to do if you get stung is to first remove the tentacle using the tips of your fingers which are too thick for the barbs to penetrate.

“While the barbs remain in the pores of your skin they are injecting more poison,” he said.

“It can be severely painful but wetsuits do offer protection.”

Mr Tisdell said once the tentacle was removed, the recommended treatment for bluebottle stings was to immerse the affected part of the body in very hot water, as hot as you can stand, which provides instant relief.

“You can use ice in the absence of hot water and this may offer some relief,” he said.

“Monitor the situation and if the pain doesn’t go away after 30 or 40 minutes or if there are other side effects, seek further medical advice.”



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