Seven swimmers stung by bluebottles on the Gold Coast, four hospitalised

FOUR people have been taken to hospital after seven swimmers were stung by bluebottle jellyfish on the Gold Coast.

The swimmers were stung in separate incidents at beaches between Tugun and Coolangatta on Saturday.

Paramedics treated seven patients in total – four of whom required transport to hospital.


A bluebottle’s sting can cause severe pain to humans and can leave a red whip-like rash on the skin for up to three days.

Usually a sting does not need to be treated by a paramedic but if the pain is persistent or if the rash worsens, medical attention must be sought.

To treat a Bluebottle sting, start by removing any of the tentacle that is left on the skin – not with bare fingers – and apply salt water. Fresh water is known to make the sting worse.

Then flush the affected area with hot water (45°C) mixed with a pinch of Epsom salts for 15-20 minutes to kill the last part of the venom in the wound.

Contrary to the treatment of other marine stings, do not use vinegar to treat a bluebottle sting as it increases the toxic effects of this species.

Tips via Ocean Blue Adventures.