27.1 C
Byron Shire
December 5, 2022

Bumper crop of stingrays, bluebottles float into town

Latest News

Protests against Violet CoCo’s 15 months imprisonment

On Friday environment activist Violet CoCo faced the Magistrates Court, at the Downing Centre in Sydney for peacefully protesting climate inaction. She was sentenced to  15 months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of eight months for engaging in non-violent protest.

Other News

So many strings to his bow

Andy Jans-Brown is a multidisciplinary artist, who works through the mediums of film, music, theatre and art. As a...

So you think someone needs a puppy for Christmas?

If you’re thinking about giving your loved one a puppy as a gift this Christmas, Dogs Australia urges you to think twice.

Pod homes for Lismore ready for residents

The Southern Cross University temporary housing site is now officially operational and serving as a home for flood affected Lismore locals.

Barrio now open every Sunday

If you’re already dreaming about the weekend, how does spending a long lunch at Barrio Eatery & Bar sound? Owing...

New research collaboration aiming to flood-proof our future

The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) and Southern Cross University, are collaborating on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to inform and shape the future of Northern Rivers communities following the February and March 2022 floods.

NSW Forestry challenged over failed forestry practices in precedent-setting case

What makes bushfires worse, causes native species collapse and creates forest dieback?

Stan Ceglinski describes himself as having a ‘high pain threshold’, but he wasn’t prepared for a stingray encounter during his regular swim at South Golden Beach two weeks ago.

‘The lifesavers had the flags up and it was in between the flags, just where the ramp goes down into the water.

Stung! Stan Ceglinski.

‘I was up to just past my knees… ready to dive under the first wave, and I stood on something kind of jellyfish-like, but harder than jellyfish, a bit squirmy.

‘The instant I stood on it and felt something foreign, I felt something sharp.

‘I walked out of the water, there was blood coming out, then the pain started escalating.’

Mr Ceglinski had copped a stingray barb to the foot – a first in his 42 years of swimming at South Golden Beach.

It seems an unusually large number of stingrays have been visiting north coast beaches.

Doron Milner, a volunteer surf life saver at Brunswick Heads main beach, said he responded to two stingray injuries on his patrol on Saturday, 23 January.

‘It is quite unusual to get stung and it is definitely unusual to have so many in such a short period,’ Mr Milner said. ‘I’ve probably only dealt with another two in the 10 years I’ve patrolled.’

Watch out for stingrays. Photo Sonia Friedrich

Mr Milner warned that at Brunswick Heads a shallow channel had developed with warmer water, which was attractive for beachgoers but was also prime real estate for stingrays.

More bluebottles too

Meanwhile, many bluebottles were also carried ashore in the last week by north to north-easterly winds, according to Steve Mills, the Far North Coast Lifeguard Supervisor for Surf Life Saving NSW.

‘In both shires, Byron Shire and Ballina Shire, there were quite a few [bluebottle stings] on Australia Day,’ Mr Mills said.

Mr Mills said onshore winds and warmer water were also responsible for more stingrays, especially juveniles which come closer to shore to feed.

‘Over the holidays in Byron there were about 10 incidents of stingray stings that were treated,’ Mr Mills said.

What to do if you’re stung

Hot water should be used to neutralise a bluebottle sting. Urine or vinegar aren’t recommended.

For bluebottles, Mr Mills said the first step was to remove the sting with your fingertips and have a fresh water shower.

The water should be as warm as you can handle, as hot water over 30 degrees will neutralise the protein in the sting.

After that, ice can be used to numb pain in the area.

For a stingray barb in the foot, Mr Mills recommended putting your foot in a bucket of hot water and dishwashing liquid to neutralise the sting.

However, that should be followed by a trip to the emergency department in case pieces of the barb remain in your foot.

Doron Milner said life savers will always direct stingray barb cases to the hospital as stingray barbs are jagged, like a fish hook, and can break off and cause infection.

‘We don’t recommend the patient takes it out,’ Mr Milner said.

But preventative measures are best: beachgoers should do the ‘stingray shuffle’ in the water with their feet to make some noise and frighten the animals away.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Monash report: women will wait 200 years for income equity

The first Australian Women’s Health and Wellbeing Scorecard: Towards equity for women from Monash University found that at current rates it will take 70 years to reach full-time employment equality with men, and more than 200 years to reach income equity.

So you think someone needs a puppy for Christmas?

If you’re thinking about giving your loved one a puppy as a gift this Christmas, Dogs Australia urges you to think twice.

Handball bouncing kids back after the floods

Following the 2022 floods, Albert Park Public School teacher Troy Davies had an idea to bring about a bit of much-needed fun into students’ lives by suggesting the handball competition to beat them all.

Pianos delivered, for the people!

Following the devastating 2022 floods, Pianos for the People answered the call to bring music to the people of the Northern Rivers.