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Old 07-10-2015, 19:59   #16
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

I recall the discovery of the box jellyfish in Queensland waters when I was a youth during the 50s. There were two unexplained deaths in northern Queensland within a fairly short period of time and after a period of months the part played by the box jellyfish was discovered.

The juveniles grow in the creeks and rivers and are flushed out with the onset of the northern wet season and the prevailing currents then sweep them along the beaches. Since there are only small, and usually drying, creeks on the offshore islands they are seldom prevalent where the islands are a sufficient distance offshore and this is the reason the islands are considered relatively safe places to enter the water.
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Old 07-10-2015, 21:04   #17
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

I can contribute a bit more advice, having treated many snorkelers and divers from jellyfish stings all over the world. As stated by several people already, vinegar does work to neutralize the stinging cells (nematocysts) still on your skin. A few important notes, you need to use plenty of vinegar to rinse away any attached tentacles, this could take take 30s to a couple minutes. If vinegar is not available, use seawater to rinse the area. Any freshwater on the area before a thorough rinse will cause any remaining stinging cells to erupt, making the situation much worse. Physical contact before rinsing can also cause rupture, so try not to touch the area until rinsed. Once rinsed with vinegar or seawater, you can apply hot pack or rinse with hot water that will help with pain relief. There is some anecdotal evidence that hot water (heat) breaks down jellyfish venom like it does to other marine venoms... it is important to test temperature on a non injured person to make sure it's not too hot. A lot of times people don't even see the jellyfish, it may have been chopped up by a boat prop, or it could be jellyfish larvae...
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Old 07-10-2015, 21:09   #18
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Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

Are we talking about simple white vinegar (acetic acid) or the fancy kinda like cider, wine, balsamic-or will any kind of vinegar work?


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Old 07-10-2015, 21:15   #19
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

Simple white cheap stuff.
But the others work just as well AFAIK.
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Old 07-10-2015, 21:16   #20
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

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Are we talking about simple white vinegar (acetic acid) or the fancy kinda like cider, wine, balsamic-or will any kind of vinegar work?


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household vinegar (acetic acid 5 percent solution)
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Old 07-10-2015, 21:37   #21
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

Thanks! I carry it by the gallon so wanted to be sure, but also have some of the others for 'taste'


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Old 07-10-2015, 21:47   #22
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

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I'm curious to know how box jellyfish affect cruisers in those waters -- northern Australia, up through the tropical Indo-Pacific. Do they keep you from going swimming or diving? Or is it more like the risk of shark attack -- just carry on and hope for the best?
A combination of taking all precautions and hoping for the best .

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The blighters are somewhat seasonal and somewhat predicatble. When in doubt, either stay out of the water or wear a"stinger suit".
"Somewhat seasonal" is an apt description. And the risk fiurther away from the mainland is less. We spent a month in Whitsunday area June/July for many years (out of "season") and several times heard dive boats on the VHF calling for a med evac due to what were presumed to be irukandji stings.

We carried a gallon of vinegar and on long snorkels I would use a thin lycra suit, otherwise I didn't worry. We have too many things that sting and bite in Australia to super paranoid about all of them . It has, however, left me with a healthy fear of all jellyfish.

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Old 07-10-2015, 22:49   #23
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

Many years ago I got hit by a box jelly whilst paddling a surf ski in a race. Got me on the thumb and back in the early 80s metho was the cure. I can still remember the searing pain that went from the sting site right up to my arm pit. I don't swim between November and April on the coast of the mainland.

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Old 07-10-2015, 23:08   #24
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

To the OP we first lived in North QLD in the early 80s and the public info then was not as now. Stinger "season "brought out the stinger encloses at popular beaches and we were advised as some do now that offshore is OK to swim.
Panty hose ,football jumpers long sleeves etc worn for us when on the islands but we had young kids so for us mainland swimming was only in our backyard pools or inland fresh water streams.But my memory is mainly only of Box Jellies the Irukandji did not get much publicity and appear to have become much more prevalent and distribution a lot further south.Gallons of Vinegar was always on board or in the 4x4 when fishing from the out of the way beaches.Most boat ramps usually had a supply as well.
We are cruising the Whitsundays now and still only swim offshore but around this time of year we either wear full body stinger suits,think full body rashie,or go back home to the pool.
Then again as others have said plenty of other deadly bities in this part of the world to either be paranoid about or take reasonable precautions and get on with having a good time.
I think there is a Croc coming up my sugar scoop now so better go kick him off
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Old 07-10-2015, 23:33   #25
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

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I think there is a Croc coming up my sugar scoop now so better go kick him off
No crocs around here. The sharks have eaten them all
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Old 08-10-2015, 00:08   #26
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

Please don't do this, as it might work or might not depending on your urine at the time. If it doesn't work, then it will help the Jelly fish to kill you..

But for a laugh..

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Old 08-10-2015, 00:40   #27
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

Things to be aware of in Australia - particularly around the northern parts of the coast line
box jelly fish (2 types) both can cause death
saltwater crocodiles - enough said about the salties
tiger sharks and /or bull sharks
sea snakes in May - most toxic known - but little chance of biting through your wetsuit
stone fish - again - potentially lethal to humans
blue ringed octopus - again - lethal to humans
blue spotted rays - highly venomous
last but not least - mosquitoes - fair chance of catching Ross River fever which will knock the stuffing out of you for six months
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Old 08-10-2015, 00:51   #28
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

One of the links I posted earlier states that current medical thinking is do NOT use vinegar for a box jelly sting. It can actually release more venom, making the situation worse. Regular jelly sting yes, box jelly no.
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:06   #29
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

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Originally Posted by Yachticus View Post
Things to be aware of in Australia - particularly around the northern parts of the coast line
box jelly fish (2 types) both can cause death
saltwater crocodiles - enough said about the salties
tiger sharks and /or bull sharks
sea snakes in May - most toxic known - but little chance of biting through your wetsuit
stone fish - again - potentially lethal to humans
blue ringed octopus - again - lethal to humans
blue spotted rays - highly venomous
last but not least - mosquitoes - fair chance of catching Ross River fever which will knock the stuffing out of you for six months
And Bogans! there infectious, especially around Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane.
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:34   #30
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Re: Woman dies from box jellyfish sting

I was at a beach on Oahu when a surfer started SCREAMING. It was blood curdling, and everyone within hundreds of yards was aware this guy was in INTENSE pain. His buddy and the lifeguards brought him in, SCREAMING all the way. He was put in an ambulance, SCREAMING, and sent to the ER. I then asked the lifeguard if it was due to a Box Jellyfish. He said NO, it was from Vana, (a spiny sea urchin), who's spines went all of the way through the surfers foot, bottom to top. The lifeguard also stated that a Box Jellyfish would be MUCH WORSE, that the pain would be so bad that the victim would be begging them to cut off the limb that was affected! He also said they are quite small and virtually invisible in the water. I hope to never have an encounter with one!
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