Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Swimmers warned of box jellyfish

Swimmers warned of box jellyfish

The current presence of box jelly fish in Thai waters continues as we can read in this article found in todays Bangkok Post;

Swimmers warned of box jellyfish

APINYA WIPATAYOTIN

The Marine and Coastal Resources Department has warned of box jellyfish attacks after the highly poisonous species was found off Koh Phi Phi in Krabi province.

The box jellyfish is not common in Thai waters and a recent discovery of the species off some popular beaches has sparked fears for tourists' safety and possible impact on the tourism industry.

So far two deaths in Thailand have been attributed to the jellyfish. The first was in 2002 at Koh Phangan in Surat Thani province, and the latest in April at Koh Lanta in Krabi.

Earlier this year, the son of an Australian journalist was stung while swimming off Koh Mak in Trat.

The jellyfish has most recently been spotted at Loh Sama bay at Koh Phi Phi. Several people had reportedly been stung by the species, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Anongwan Thepsuthin said yesterday.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry has also expressed concern over the spread of box jellyfish and its impact on tourism.

"People swimming in the sea where box jellyfish are present should exercise caution. The authorities will do their best to cope with the problem," Mrs Anongwan said.

Box jellyfish are known for their powerful venom, which has caused at least 5,567 recorded deaths since 1954. Wannakiat Thubtimsaeng, director of the Marine and Coastal Department's Phuket Marine Biological Centre, said the department had circulated letters to all coastal provinces, urging authorities to set up signs warning of the presence of box jellyfish in swimming areas.

Vinegar is the best solution to reduce the pain from a jellyfish sting before the victim is sent to hospital. Water should not be used, as this increases the pain.

2 comments:

Miss F said...

absolutely true about the vinegar and not freshwater
I was ignorant and immediately took a shower after the sting!
wrote about my experience here, I guess I am lucky because I removed the tentacles by hand despite the horrible pain:
http://fruityfredda.blogspot.com/2009/04/stung-by-deadly-box-jellyfish-in-100.html

Camille Lemmens said...

Hi MIss F,

Thanks for your post. The pictures look very serious, it almost hurts looking at it.

I fully agree that warning signs should be put up and unfortuinately you had to elarn the hard way about vinegar use and seeing a physician, hopefully you will join the group of people that try to raise awareness.