OUCH: A blue bottle jellyfish.
OUCH: A blue bottle jellyfish. Karen Longworth Browne

Unwelcome visitors return to Gladstone's beaches

GLADSTONE'S swimmers at were joined at the beach by some less than welcome visitors.

Tannum Sands Surf Lifesaving Club President Mark Bryant said bluebottle jellyfish appeared on Sunday afternoon.

"Jellyfish season officially runs from November to March," he said.

"They normally appear when northerly winds are blowing."

Bluebottle jellyfish (aka: Portuguese or Pacific Man O' War) have a distinctive, blue, air-filled sac which can be grow to 8cm wide and their tentacles can reach up to 10 metres in length.

Mr Bryant said the best way to treat a bluebottle jellyfish sting is "to not rub the area and seek assistance from the nearest surf lifesaver."

"The Lifesaver will douse the sting area in vinegar for 30sec before removing any tentacles stuck to the skin," he said.

"They will then apply a cold pack for 10 minutes and reapply if skin pain persists."

"They will monitor the patient for up to 45min and seek medical assistance if pain persists or worsens."

"We will immediately seek Medical assistance if patient has history of heart condition."

Mr Bryant said people should always swim at patrolled beaches between the flags.

"Our lifesavers and lifeguards are constantly on the lookout for jellyfish," he said.

"Check our beach safety signs for the latest advice and don't enter the water when the beaches are closed.

"Also don't touch any bluebottles that have washed up on the beach because they can still sting you."