Summer’s in the air, and bluebottles are riding the waves, along with surfers and swimmers on Sunshine Coast beaches. Beach goers encountering bluebottles may experience the painful, but not deadly, sting from the trailing tentacles of this marine stinger. And Allens Training first aid courses can help you be prepared for the effects of a close encounter with this nautical creature.

The bluebottle – Physalia utriculus – is commonly referred to as a type of jellyfish; however, it is not a ‘true’ jellyfish. Bluebottles float on the top of the water and are blown by the wind. The poisonous tentacles hanging below the float are armed with stinging cells called nematocysts, which inject venom into their prey (fish and other small marine life), and into unsuspecting swimmers.

If treatment begins promptly, the sufferer should find the pain starts to fade after about half an hour. However, children, asthmatics, and people with allergies can be badly affected, some experiencing respiratory distress.

To treat a bluebottle sting, first remove the tentacles by picking them off with tweezers or gloved fingers and rinsing the area with seawater. Then immerse the affected area in hot water. Ice can also be used to help with the pain. Rubbing with sand or applying vinegar are not recommended as they may aggravate the sting.

To be safe in the sea on the Sunshine Coast beaches, always swim between the flags, heed any warnings of the presence of marine stingers, and keep your Allens Training first aid certificate up-to-date so you know what to do in an emergency.  

If you would like to learn the appropriate first aid response for treating marine stings, book yourself into an Allens Training first aid course. You can find the calendar of scheduled CPR and first aid courses on the Allens First Aid website, where you can use the convenient online booking form to secure your place in a course at one of our Sunshine Coast locations.

Allens Training Sunshine Coast offers public CPR first aid and courses at Birtinya, Maroochydore and Nambour.

Or phone Allens Training Sunshine Coast on 07 5438 8888, and one of our friendly staff can enter a booking for you.

If you are interested in obtaining a quote for group training, please email sunshinecoast@allenstraining.com.au or phone 07 5438 8888. 

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