Irukandji sting: Broome childcare worker tells of crippling pain

Glenn Cordingley and Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
VideoDrag nets are being used to clear the area and the Cable Beach is now closed.

A Broome childcare worker has told of the crippling pain she experienced after being stung by a potentially deadly Irukandji jellyfish, which led to the closure of a packed Cable Beach yesterday.

Speaking from Broome Hospital yesterday, Rhiannon Petticrew, 20, said that she went swimming at the beach with friends about 8am.

“I just felt a stinging pain on my chest and got out of the water,” Ms Petticrew said.

“About 10 minutes later my whole body started to ache, I couldn’t walk properly and I had chest pains and I was struggling to do anything.”

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Realising the seriousness of the situation friends bundled her into a car and drove her to the hospital.

“It was probably one of the worst pains I have ever come across,” Ms Petticrew, who has lived in Broome for 19 years, said. “I didn’t necessarily think I was going to die, but it was a very bad pain — my whole body was aching.”

“It has been a long morning but I am getting there (recovering) now.”

Ms Petticrew said she did not collapse on the beach in the minutes after she made it back to shore.

“It wasn’t what I was expecting because I was looking for proper tentacle marks like the lines the jellyfish usually leave but it just left a bid red patch over chest and on my back,” she said.

“It was different to what I was expecting it to be or what I was looking for in the first place.”

A spokesperson for WA Country Health said the woman was treated for a suspected irukandji sting.

Shire of Broome rangers told people to get out of the water and closed a section between Cable Beach and Gantheaume Point.

Cable Beach was reopened this morning after lifeguards carried out a stinger net drag.

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