A crewman aboard a cargo ship working 25 metres above sea level was hit in the face by a flying Irukandji jellyfish

A sailor working 25 metres above the sea on the deck of a 70,000-tonne cargo ship has been stung by a flying jellyfish.

The extremely venomous Irukandji jellyfish, which hit the sailor in the face, is only about 2.5cm in diameter and is thought to have been carried aboard by sea spray while the ship was sailing off the coast of Queensland.

A rescue helicopter evacuated the casualty to hospital in Mackay where tests confirmed that he was suffering from Irukandji syndrome as a result of the sting, but he is reported to be in a stable condition.

“This is one of the most fascinating tasks I’ve worked on,” said the helicopter’s crewman.

“Realistically, what are the chances of being stung by a jellyfish when you are safely on board a bulk carrier 25 metres above the water? It’s really incredible.”