‘It will whip you’: Warning after influx of stingrays
Beachgoers are being urged to keep an eye out in the water for stingrays, following recent “influxes” of the sea creatures spotted on the Far North Coast in recent months.
People have been taking to social media recently with reports they’ve been stung by a stingray in areas such as Brunswick Heads and Brooms Head.
Renowned Dr Austin Curtin, of Tregeagle, told the ABC this week even he stood on a stingray while on holidays at Brooms Head during the summer and was still feeling the painful sting weeks later.
But with regular sightings being reported up and down the coast, what exactly do you do if you get stung by a stingray?
Australian Life Saving supervisor Scott McCartney said if someone gets stung and they’re near a patrolled beach, immediately seek the assistance of a lifeguard as they’ll know what to do.
He said a stingray can either leave a puncture wound where the barb on their tail goes through the skin or they can whip a person causing lacerations to the skin.
If there’s not a lifeguard nearby, Mr McCartney said there’s some simple things that can be done to reduce the pain.
“If it’s just a laceration, control the bleeding, keep it as clean as possible and bandage it as soon as you can before going to the emergency ward,” he said.
“If it’s a puncture wound the actual toxins inside the sting is quite painful.
“So, to calm that down (place the puncture wound in) as much hot water as you can stand and soak in clean in soapy water.”
He said to then treat the wound like you would a laceration before going to the hospital.
Mr McCartney said the hotter the water the better, as it can improve the pain quickly.
He said places like Broken Head have recently seen an “influx” of stingrays where there’s been quite a few encounters.
But he warned people to not touch the stingray because you could spook it.
“It’s wild animal, if it’s going to get scared it will whip you,” Mr McCartney said.
“If you’re standing still and watching it swim by, that’s okay
“Stand still, admire it as it goes past and then move away from them.”