Tayla Egan, 12, of Ballina is well aware of the dangers of Bluebottles as she gets up-close with one on Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head.
Tayla Egan, 12, of Ballina is well aware of the dangers of Bluebottles as she gets up-close with one on Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head. Jay Cronan

Bluebottles blown ashore

THERE was no way Tayla Egan, 12, was going to risk a swim at Lennox Head yesterday – she would have been sharing the water with plenty of bluebottles.

“I haven’t been stung before but I’ve heard it’s kind of like bad sunburn,” the Ballina resident said.

“We went for a swim at Lighthouse Beach instead because there were no bluebottles there.”

Vast numbers of the stingers have blown on to North Coast beaches over the past few days.

Northern NSW Lifeguard coordinator, Scott McCartney, said there had been ‘constant’ reports of people getting stung.

“There was been a merry-go-round of people coming to our tents for treatment,” he said.

“Main Beach at Byron Bay, Wategos and Kingscliff were the worst beaches in the area.”

But Mr McCartney said bluebottle numbers had dropped off dramatically over the last day or so.

“They haven’t been as much of a problem today (Australia Day),” he said.

“It was nothing like it has been, but we’ve still got the wind blowing, and that’s bringing a few bluebottles in.

“The numbers were pretty bad for a few days.”

In just two days, more than 700 people were stung on Queensland beaches.

Surf Lifesaving Queensland said Gold Coast beaches were the worst affected, with 200 people stung on Sunday and 500 on Saturday.

Some beaches had to be closed over the weekend.

The bluebottle threat is expected to remain high for the rest of the week, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting onshore winds until Thursday.

BEATING THE BLUEBOTTLES

Don’t go into the water if you’re allergic to bee stings or suffer from asthma. Children under 5 should also keep out of the water.

If you’re stung, apply an ice pack and seek medical treatment. Do not rub the affected area.

No one in Australia or New Zealand has ever died from a bluebottle sting.



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