One sting reported from flood of ‘bluebottles’ at Phuket beaches

PHUKET: Phuket lifeguards at Kata and Karon beaches so far have reported only one person being stung by the bluebottle jellyfish that washed ashore in droves yesterday.

More than 100 of the “stingers” washed ashore at Kata and Karon beaches, confirmed Uten Singsom, head lifeguard at Kata-Karon patrol unit on Phuket’s southwest coast.

He also received reports that some were found on Nai Harn Beach, further south.

“Officers from the Phuket Marine Biological Center collected many of them, including four live ones, for examination,” he said.

“There were a lot fewer of them today,” he added.

Despite nearly all the stingers being dead when stranded on the beach, Mr Uten strongly advised against touching them.

“This is just in case people may be allergic to the sting. If a person touches a bluebottle tentacle, they should wash the area immediately with freshwater [or drinking water] or vinegar,” he said.

The phenomenon of stingers washing ashore is becoming a regular feature of Phuket’s rainy season.

“This kind of jellyfish cannot swim by itself and they are usually found at the bottom of the sea but during the [southwest] monsoon season, the strong current and waves pull them up to the surface and wash them ashore,” Mr Uten explained.

One Phuket Gazette reader commented, “I counted more than 50 on the beach and many more washing up, most were very small but a few were bigger than I have ever seen on Phuket.

“I also counted 13 on the beach at Nai Harn. Lifeguards at Nai Harn said one lady was stung yesterday. Guards at Kata told me they weren’t aware of anyone being stung at Kata.”

The reader reported one of the bluebottles having a tentacle measuring about two meters long.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Phuket News

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