I am a keen ocean swimmer at the Central Coast of NSW and have a science degree in Sustainable Resource Management and Marine Biology.I have been involved in various large scale and smaller terrestrial and marine biodiversity survey projects.
- I have been ocean swimming at Terrigal Beach (Central Coast) all year round for the past three years. We swim from the Surf Club ramp at 8am on weekends. There has been a rapid increase of Jimbles during the last few months, especially since we had all this rain (where nutrient rich storm water flows into the lagoons and the ocean; causing algal blooms).I suspect it has to do with the increase in potential food sources and warmer water temperatures.It is relatively easy to see them (light pink) on sunny days. Their sting is very painful- depending on where the person is stung. Jimbles can cause nasty scars that last for weeks or months, but sometimes they disappear within a day.Stings within the mouth or tongue area are particular unpleasant as they can result in a swelling, scarring and infection of the soft tissue in and around the mouth. Flushing with hot water gives some relief. Ice or flushing with seawater numbs as well. Do not rub the area! I find myself looking 'forward' all the time instead of swimming with my face down and breathing to the side. Many of us have become rather 'alert' and often 'anxious' in the water because of those 'jimble alerts' every time we enter the ocean. We don't usually find them in the 'general swimming zone' but rather from about 50m offshore (behind the surf zone).They don't depend on winds and currents because they can propel themselves. We have seen them in 20-150cm depth. They appear by themselves or in small groups.We have also heard of Jimble sightings at Avoca Beach.