Phuket beaches now have signs warning swimmers of jellyfish after an increase in the number of beachgoers being stung by the marine creatures.
According to the Phuket News, officers from the Phuket Marine Resources Conservation Centre and local administrative organisations have been stocking lifeguard stations with extra bottles of vinegar and other medical supplies to help treat stings. The west coast, including Patong Beach, has seen an increase in stings in recent days.
But, the jellyfish warning signs are in the Thai language only, leaving foreign tourists to wonder what they say.
Suchart Ratanaruangsri, the director of the Centre, says his officers will visit more than 20 important beaches around the island, including Kata, Patong, Nai Yang, Karon, Surin and Cape Panwa beaches on Phuket’s east coast.
“More than 30 people have recently been stung by jellyfish while playing in the water at the beach. Most of the people were not seriously harmed.”
“There are many species of jellyfish. For normal jellyfish stings, vinegar can be poured over the area continuously for at least 30 seconds to help, but never pour fresh water, drinking water or alcohol onto the sting.”
“Jellyfish are found in the coastal areas of Phuket. Most of them are ordinary ‘fire jellyfish.'”
Last year, the head of a national park warned that fire jellyfish are very venomous, and getting stung by one causes severe burning pain or even death in cases which produce a severe allergic reaction. Morbakka fenneri, known as the “fire jellyfish,” doesn’t get its name from its pinkish-red colour but from its potent sting.
“However, sometimes there is also the Portuguese man o’ war, which delivers a much more violent sting and can even be life-threatening, so being prepared to protect yourself from jellyfish before swimming in the sea is important.”
“People should observe the warning signs and swim in the safe areas marked by lifeguards, and they should strictly follow the warnings of authorities.”
Despite Suchart’s warnings, there was no specific mention of any rising numbers of Portuguese man o’war stings or box jellyfish stings.
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