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Marine animals

Blue bottles

Stings from Physalia species leave a painful whip-like wavy line on the skin from the tentacle.

First Aid:

  • Clear away the tentacles
  • Immerse in hot water for 20 minutes for pain relief or have a hot water shower (be mindful to supervise children with hot water)
  • Do NOT apply a pressure immobilisation bandage
  • Seek medical advice if pain continues

Tropical jellyfish

Australian jellyfish are extremely dangerous and can cause death. Box jellyfish and irukandji are found in the tropical waters of northern Australia - see map.

First Aid:

  • Remove the person out of water
  • Pour vinegar over the affected areas of skin
  • Carefully remove any tentacles
  • Do NOT apply a pressure immobilisation bandage
  • Call 000 if box jellyfish sting, or if pain persists, transport the patient to medical care
  • If the person is unconscious or stops breathing, start resuscitation

Blue-ringed octopus & Cone snail 

Blue-ringed octopus bites and cone snail stings can be life-threatening, as they can cause paralysis and stop breathing.

First Aid:


Sea snakes

Sea snakes are venomous and highly dangerous. Treat as for snake bite.

First Aid:

  1. Call 000
  2. Keep the person who has been bitten as still as possible. If possible, lie the patient down to prevent walking or moving around.
  3. Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage (preferably use a wide elasticised bandage if available)
  4. Keep still await the arrival of the ambulance for transport to the nearest hospital.
  5. If the person is unconscious or stops breathing, start resuscitation