The waters of the Great Barrier Reef change throughout the year, depending on the season and currents. During the warmer months of October - May, the waters warm up, inviting in guests such as marine stingers, or jellyfish.
Although they can be seen in parts of the reef all year, some jellyfish significantly increase in number during "stinger season," due to the warmer water temperatures. This mainly pertains to the Irukandji and the box jellyfish, which are more abundant during the summer months.
Tips from the Queensland Government if you or someone you are with is stung:
Call for medical help (ring 000)
Assess the patient and perform CPR if necessary
Douse the sting site with vinegar as soon as possible. Vinegar inactivates the stinging cells, preventing them from injecting more venom.
Reassure the patient and keep calm until medical help arrives.
Wait at least 45 minutes before re-entering the water as symptoms of Irukandji syndrome can take a while to develop.
If in doubt, treat as Irukandji.
For more information on stinger season in the Whitsundays, click here.