Stinger Suits for Whitsundays

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:20
ThreadID: 66866 Views:4485 Replies:10 FollowUps:7
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Hi everyone

Have not been on here for a long time - after our Simpson Trip we sold the camper and have been planning some different holidays.

We are going to have a week in the Whitsundays on a Bareboat charter and we have been advised to wear a Stinger Suit. Now I remember Darren Lehman when he ran in a lycra body suit and I reckon I might look a bit like that.

Are they necessary and does anyone have an opinion on buying as opposed to hiring them if we need them.

Cheers to you all. Glad to hear all you wise people are still about.

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Reply By: Member - Tony B (Malanda FNQ) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:29

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:29
I always wear one in the tropics, well worth the effort. I had a friend in Cooktown who got stung, said all he wanted to do was die, the pain was that bad, he nearly did not make it. He always wears one now as well! As you get older you do not care what you look like :-). Cheers Tony
AnswerID: 354180

Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:48

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 20:48
Hello Young Fella

If a stinger saw you without a suit on, it will swim in the other direction... however a stinger suit might improve your looks...hahaha


AnswerID: 354185

Reply By: Best Off Road - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:09

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:09

Pantyhose are the go for the lower body (you'd look good in those).

For the upper body, I'd suggest a long sleeve "Lycra" style swimming top. One of those that Doctors recommend for Sun protection.



AnswerID: 354189

Follow Up By: Big Kidz - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:13

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:13
I have one of those tops but I am all out of pantyhose. I can just see myself pracing up and down Whitehaven beach in some pantyhose before I go for a swim. Maybe I just need some lycra pants
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:16

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:16
The pantyhose would allow you to wear your Mankini hahahaha

I am sure you would be able to hire suits from somewhere up there.

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:32

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:32
Shhhhh - how do you know about that????

The image is getting real bad - lycra, pantyhose, mankini..
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Follow Up By: Dasher Des - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 12:56

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 12:56
Don't forget to take your Sombrero either. At least it will keep you covered and scare the stingers away.
I thought that the stingers were a seasonal thing anyway.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:33

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:33
Hi there Andrew,

What's wrong with borrowing a pair of pantihose from Jen?

I reckon you'd look good in them mate:-)))

Good to see you're still about.



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Follow Up By: Big Kidz - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:40

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:40
Yeh I reckon she would lend me some - she is a good girl my Jen. Always telling me to be friendly to people. I could just see myself chatting to a couple of German Backpacker girls wearing a lycra top and pantyhose over my ....... what should I wear, ?boardies, budgies or mankini?
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Reply By: Member - Mark (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:49

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:49
Bareboated in the Whitsundays a few times over 20+ years, with and without stinger suits. Stingers May-Oct offshore (islands) a rarity, but the suits are very cheap insurance and saves putting on lots of blockput when snorkelling.
Read David Colfert's book which is the "bible" supplied on most charter yachts about the Whitsunday's.
Advisable to wear swimmers under the stinger suits!
AnswerID: 354207

Follow Up By: Member - Mark (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:57

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 21:57
Charter companies will hire them to you, much better option if you are unlikely to use them again.
There should be no one close enough to comnpare you to Darren Lehman except those on your own yacht/ cat. Not as if you are going to parade them at any of the resorts?
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Reply By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 22:05

Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 22:05
Many of the locals up here have never worn a stinger suit and have had no problems. Though that doesn't mean anything. :-)

It is far more dangerous driving to the Whitsundays than the chance of dying from a stinger. It is all about risks and in the end it is up to you to decide.

If hiring is available and cheaper, then do that, rather than buying. They are available for purchase at many stores up here including the local phamarcy etc.

There are stinger suits that cover your whole body except for the face and hands (see which will reduce the risk of being stung, not eliminate....

Other suits are of the nylon lycra type, which also have sun protection which can be a huge benefit for some.

They do get hot if you aren't in the water, and look funny when wearing. You may look out of place on Whitehaven beach next to the skimpily clad backpackers, however not everything is about looks. :-)

AnswerID: 354212

Reply By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 08:03

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 08:03
Hi Andrew, I just got back from Cairns/Cooktown/Lizard Island and the Ribbon Reefs last week. My wife and I snorkelled everyday (beach and reef) for a week without the stinger suits and neither of us had any problem whatsoever.

AnswerID: 354246

Reply By: cackles - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 09:49

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 09:49
It's important to keep your chest covered as a sting to the chest travels to the heart quickly and can land you in more trouble than a bit of pain.
A rash vest will do the job, and Panty hose on the legs as mentioned before.

I've lived up here all my life and haven't been stung yet so there's your odds.

AnswerID: 354270

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 10:46

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 10:46

We did the exact thing in Dec on a 43 foot cat for 8 nights....was awesome. We did get the suits as part of the deal but I never used it. The locals there said you have a better chance getting hit by an airplane in the middle of a desert. You will have to be very unlucky to get stung by one of those suckers. We did a bit of diving and had wetsuits for that but just for a quick splash in the water we just jumped in didn’t stay long in the water but was good enough to cool down.
AnswerID: 354277

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 13:33

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 13:33
Although visitors are at risk of being stung all year round, Stinger Season in the Whitsundays runs every year from October through to May. During this period, jellyfish are prevelant in the waters around the mainland, islands and have occasionally been found out on the Reef. If you are stung, Whitsunday Shire Council provide vinegar to treat stings at each of the beaches on the mainland.
There are two main types of "stingers" in the area and they are the Box Jellyfish and the Irukandji Jellyfish.

Below is a little more information on these.

Irukandjis are a group of small jellyfishes whose stings can cause serious illness in previously well humans.
Irukandjis are rare, but the stings can be life-threatening. It is worth taking some simple precautions so that you can enjoy your holiday with peace of mind.
The initial sting from most Irukandji species is quite mild, feeling like sea lice or a mosquito bite. There is often no mark, or perhaps small red "goose pimple" marks. Often, Irukandji stings will sweat profusely in the immediate sting region only.
Between November and May, 'boxies' as they're affectionately known migrate to Australia's shallow, murky coastal waters and estuaries. Their travelling companion is the tiny Irukandji, Carukia barnesi, which, while only about the size of a thumbnail, can land an adult in intensive care, or even result in death.

Deadly stings come in big packages

Box jellyfish and Irikandji both feature a roughly box-shaped bell. The box jellyfish has a cluster of tentacles at each corner; whilst the Irikandji has only a single tentacle.
Each of their trailing tentacles is packed with nematocysts, stinging cells that contain a tiny harpoon attached to venom-filled bulb. Each species has several types of nematocysts, reflecting their individual ways of feeding and catching prey.
It's only when a box jellyfish gets over a certain size that it becomes lethal to vertebrates.
Once their bell reaches 8-10 cm, not only does the venom become more toxic per drop, but the ratio of highly venomous nematocysts per tentacle changes as well,This is related to their food preference, below 8cm they prefer to feed on prawns and above they like fish. Not only are fish larger and faster than prawns, the vertebrate nervous system is also completely different, so the jellyfish must adapt their prey submission technique to match; it's just unfortunate that they have the same deadly effect on humans."
About 2-3 metres of tentacle is needed to kill an adult human, and when the box jellyfish's bell is below 8cm there is simply not enough tentacle length to skin surface for a human to be fatally stung .
However one shouldn't take the risk of assuming that if you see a small boxy in the water with you it won't kill you - it could always be an early developer - or an Irukandji."

Irukandji syndrome

While a sting from the smaller Irukandji jellyfish may not kill outright, it causes what is known as Irukandji syndrome, a set of symptoms that includes lower back pain, muscle cramps, vomiting, fluid on the lungs, hypertension and heart failure (if untreated).
Despite the obvious dangers, people continue to throw caution to the winds and swim in stinger-infested waters, in the mistaken belief that they won't be stung. The simplest way to avoid being stung is to use common sense, Stay out of the water when a beach is closed, or swim in the stinger proof enclosures that are located on many of the popular beaches.
Protective clothing like a full-body lycra suit can also help, if you can't see through it, a jellyfish can't sting through it
If you do get stung, your only hope of survival might come from a humble bottle of vinegar, which disables the nematocysts and stops them firing.
Supported by Surf Lifesaving Australia and local businesses, bottles of vinegar are found on many beaches in North Queensland," she says.People should be pro-active and not only pack their sunscreen, but to pack their vinegar too - it might save more than just their own life.
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz - Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 13:51

Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 13:51
Well you know I am not going to get in the water now after reading all that! Think I will take up position with a good book on deck !! Wasn't looking forward to wearing a suit anyway!


PS thanks for all the info, very informative.
FollowupID: 622468

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