Magnetic Island like all beaches in Northern Qld have what is known as ‘stinger season’. The Tropical North Queensland waters off Australia contain many creatures, including some dangerous jellyfish. Beaches in the northern section of Queensland have longer stinger seasons than beaches in the south due to the warmer water. Marine “stinger season” generally runs from November through to May. Horseshoe Bay and Picnic Bay have stinger-resistant enclosures so beachgoers can enjoy swimming throughout the year. It is important to swim inside the enclosures as they are the only safe swimming zone on the beach.
The nets are constructed of a robust floating tube that defines the swimming area. Hanging from this floating tube is 25mm square mesh that descends to the ocean floor and is weighed down by chain. The stinger nets are designed to prevent large box jellyfish and large segments of box jellyfish tentacles from entering the enclosure. These nets provide a high degree of protection but they are not stinger-proof. If you choose to swim outside the stinger nets please hire or buy yourself a stinger suit from Pleasure Divers in Arcadia.
Remedies for marine stings
Vinegar is the tried and tested way to treat a marine sting. Most beaches have containers of vinegar available for use if a sting occurs. Pouring the liquid on the stung area deactivates the stinging cells, although this will not reduce the pain. Do not rub the victim’s skin. Symptoms of a sting can include nausea and severe abdominal pain. If this occurs then it is necessary to go to the hospital and seek professional treatment.