Visitors to Bay put sting in the tail of cyclone

Last updated 13:00 24/12/2012

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A swarm of blue bottle jellyfish in Tasman Bay and those washed up on the Nelson shoreline over the past few days don't appear to have caused any problems for swimmers.

The blue bottle, also known as the portuguese man o' war, can give painful stings but swimmers at Tahunanui Beach were untroubled yesterday, despite many of the small bright blue jellyfish being washed up along the tide line.

Nelson Surf Life Saving Club president Marcus Gardner said no stings had been reported.

He said it was not unusual for the floating jellyfish, which have an air bladder like a tiny balloon, to be found in Tasman Bay.

"Every couple of years we get a swarm of blue bottles come in - I think it's probably a result of this big tropical cyclone that's come down, they're on the surface and it tends to blow them into the bay. Then the weather changes and that's the last you see of them."

He said in the past the main cause of people being stung was "young guys throwing them around at each other."

Mr Gardner reminded beach goers to swim with other people, use the main beach at Tahunanui, not the Back Beach, swim between the flags, and not to swim after drinking alcohol. Patrols at Tahunanui would resume after Christmas Day.

St John Ambulance operations team manager Matt Wilkinson said with so many blue bottles in Tasman Bay, stings were inevitable. He advised victims to cover the area with a dressing and contact a doctor.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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