Call to close Fraser Island tourist hotspot over deadly jellyfish threat

A marine life expert has called for the closure of a popular stretch of Fraser Island after a spate of jellyfish attacks involving children.

It comes after a fourth child was flown to hospital after being stung by a deadly Irukandji jellyfish on the island off the Bundaberg coast on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Bundaberg RACQ LifeFlight helicopter transported three young children to Hervey Bay Hospital after two separate reports of singing.

A day later, the same crew was called to a boy in K’gari, Fraser Island, who suspected another Irukandji stitch to the thigh after swimming in a stream on the west side of the island.

The rescue helicopter was called around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, and the pilot was able to land the plane on the beach near the boy and other tourists.

He was then flown to Hervey Bay Hospital with his mother in stable condition.

Associate Professor Jamie Seymour, who works at James Cook University in Townsville, said he didn’t think the affected area should be opened to tourists.

“If you’re down on Fraser Island on the west side of the island right now, I wouldn’t go in the water, it’s that simple,” he told Yahoo News.

“We don’t have any research on what’s happening down there, apart from things we had 15 years ago when we first found them there.

“The only option you have, and I’m surprised they haven’t, is to close the beach and close the west side of Fraser Island where people are.”

The Irukandji are not unique to Queensland waters, but can be found in waters across Australia.

Mr Seymour previously told NCA NewsWire they are primarily located on Fraser Island on the East Coast and around the Cape down to Ningaloo on the West Coast.

The irukandji is a type of miniature jellyfish whose sting is considered a “ten out of ten” on the pain scale.

“We urgently need more research on these animals.

“We have a crocodile advisory group, we have research and management teams on sharks, but nothing on jellyfish.

“Jellies hospitalized more people than sharks and crocodiles combined.”

Originally posted as a call for the closure of tourist hotspot on Fraser Island due to deadly jellyfish threat

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