Venomous jellyfish believed to have killed two Australian snorkelers while children watched

By on May 22, 2013

It took just minutes – and a tiny jellyfish – to kill two snorkelers off the western Australian coast and orphan their two horrified children, who watched the tragedy from the beach.

Authorities now believe the minute, extremely venomous irukandji jellyfish is responsible for the deaths last week of Kathreen Ricketson, 41, and Robert Shugg, 48, of Canberra. A search for Shugg’s missing body near Warroora and the Ningaloo Reef has since been called off.

The two were spotted unmoving off the beach and fellow campers were able to haul Ricketson’s body ashore and attempt to resuscitate her as the shocked children looked on, reported. Shugg’s body slipped under water and was not recovered after a five-day search.

The children, Otilija, 13, and Orlando, 10, have been sent to Melbourne to live with family members.

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