'It was all over me': Dad covered in brutal jellyfish sting
BRENDAN Osborn was left in excruciating pain after an afternoon swim at Twin Waters left him covered in a massive jellyfish sting.
The Palmwoods dad was swimming in the Maroochy River with his family on Sunday afternoon when the jellyfish latched onto his back and shoulders.
"I was swimming and dove under, and came right into it," Mr Osborn said.
"It was literally all over me.
"It felt like my back was on fire, a burning sting across my back and shoulders, some on my face and neck too."
There were no lifesavers at the river that he could go to for help, so he washed it under fresh water and "doused" himself in vinegar.
Mr Osborn said the jellyfish was "white/clear with a brownish centre" and about 15-20cm in diameter.
He said the stinging stopped after a couple of hours, but he was still covered in red marks.
A Sunshine Coast marine expert said it was likely the sting was caused by a species known as "snottie" jellyfish, but Mr Osborn said he doubted that claim.
Sunshine Coast beaches have seen a large number of bluebottles washing ashore, with 23 people in Queensland suffering severe stings since January 1.
Stings have more than tripled across the state this season, with 22,282 people seeking treatment between December 1 and January 7, compared to 6831 in the same period last year.
Lifeguards at Mooloolaba treated more than 90 bluebottle stings on Tuesday.
University of the Sunshine Coast graduate research ecologist Letricia Delaney said multiple factors including warm water, wind direction and huge numbers of holiday swimmers had aligned ahead of the recent record number of stings.
Mr Osborn said he had heard of the large number of recent bluebottle stings on the Sunshine Coast, but wasn't aware he could be in danger of larger jellyfish.
"I was aware of bluebottles on the Coast, I didn't know there were bigger jellies around," he said.