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Warnings over poisonous jellyfish at Phuket beaches

PHOTO: Flickr/Sue Milks

Lifeguards in Phuket have warned beachgoers of the presence of poisonous jellyfish at some of the island’s beaches. The Portuguese man o’ war (actually not a jellyfish but a species of siphonophore) found in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and lifeguards say they have found many on the island’s beaches during the current monsoon season.

The Portuguese man o’ war is also known as a ‘bluebottle’ or ‘stinger’ It should not be confused with the box jellyfish which is a much more dangerous species and almost unknown around the Andaman Sea.

The authorities say anyone afraid of being stung by the marine creatures should avoid swimming in the sea. Anyone who is stung should use seawater and vinegar to wash the area and CAREFULLY remove the jellyfish tentacle. This should be followed by the application of warm-to-hot water over the area for 20 minutes, which should reduce the pain.

Swimming into the tentacles of a Portuguese man o’ war is bad enough (a nasty sting!) but remnants of the tentacles, broken up by the surf at this time of the year, can leave little pieces floating all over the area.

Lifeguards have also urged beachgoers to pay attention at beaches where red flags have been placed and to heed instructions from lifeguards. The warning follows the May 27 drowning of a Russian man at Patong Beach, with a Burmese man drowning at Layan Beach days later, on May 30.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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