Thursday, November 26, 2009

Warning; Lotion on sale in Thailand does not prevent jelly stings!

Warning; Lotion on sale in Thailand does not prevent jelly stings!

With various posts on this blog dealing with box jelly fish or hazardous marine life in general, I thought that this message by Andrew Jones, father of a chironex-type jellyfish sting survivor was useful on my blog as a warning;

In response to concerns about Safe Sea, a lotion that claims to prevent jellyfish stings, the developers of this product have issued a statement in Thai and English.

This statement in any language DOES NOT address the concerns of jellyfish experts in Thailand and Australia currently working together to reduce box jellyfish stings and improve safety in Thailand.

It is important to note that there are numerous species of box jellyfish that are all different in some way and testing one with this product DOES NOT guarantee that all species will respond the same way.

In Thailand as in Australia, the lethal box jellyfish that is directly responsible for numerous deaths is a chironex-type box jellyfish. Safe Sea has NOT been tested on chironex-type box jellyfish.

Repeat, Safe Sea has NOT been tested on Thailand’s deadly chironex-type box jellyfish.

The marketing of this product in Thailand by a company called Oceanline uses a recent chironex-type box jellyfish tragedy to sell bottles of its lotion:

Oceanline promotional direct marketing - “There are however also some very dangerous jellyfish out there. In Thailand many accidents with jellyfish have been reported which led to beach resorts in Thailand being instructed to carry vinegar as a first-aid treatment (you might remember the sad story of the Swedish girl who was killed by a box jellyfish in November last year).Protect your customers, yourself and your family from painful jellyfish stings!”

Oceanline also uses images of victims of chironex-type box jellyfish.

This is misleading and potentially very dangerous.

The developer of this product, Nidaria, claims that chironex is a close relative of the box jellyfish this company tested (did the testing show 100% proof anyway? No.) though in scientific terms this means absolutely nothing. There is NO scientific evidence to say that Safe Sea protects against Thailand’s deadly chironex-type box jellyfish. None!

As was pointed out recently by jellyfish expert in envenomation prevention Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin; a Physalia (Portuguese Man o War jellyfish) in Thailand and Physalia in Australia respond differently to the application of vinegar (one is neutralized, one is activated), a clown fish covered by the goo from one anemone will be an easy victim for another anemone, and as is stated in Nidaria’s testing results Safe Sea works better for the Chiropsalmus quadrumanus than for the Chrysaora quinquecirrha.

Can you assume that Safe Sea will prevent the sting of a lethal chironex-type box jellyfish and will ‘testing’ be inadvertently conducted by families holidaying in Thailand?

Nidaria’s response to the experts’ concerns claims and cites many things but NEVER DEMONSTRATES any form of protection against the potentially deadly sting of the proven killer in Thai waters, the chironex-type box jellyfish.

Ask yourself why in the wake of the official lethal box jellyfish warnings issued in Thailand that Safe Sea suddenly appeared on the market and why is it that Safe Sea’s developers have not tested their product on lethal box jellyfish.

Safe swimming, diving, snorkelling and best regards,



Andrew Jones
Father of chironex-type box jellyfish sting survivor

This message is also underwritten by;

John Lippmann OAM
Executive Director
DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) ASIA-PACIFIC

Dr Peter Fenner AM
MD (London), DRCOG, FACTM, FRCGP
Australian Marine Stinger Expert and author

Dr Ken Winkel
Director
Australian Venom Research Unit

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