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Rough surf serves up bluebottles at Phuket beach

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PHUKET: The Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) has confirmed that the stingers found washed ashore at Surin Beach this week are bluebottles, also known as Portuguese man o’ war.

The stingers found so far are juveniles, reported Phuket Gazette reader Daren Jenner.

“The presence of these bluebottles on the west coast started about five days ago with the onset of strong southwest monsoon winds blowing them in from the Indian Ocean,” he said.

“Beachgoers should watch where they walk in the sand. They are currently being deposited at the high tide line,” he added.

PMBC marine biologist Charatsee Aungtonya cautioned that bluebottles, when they do arrive in numbers along Phuket’s west coast, are also often found at Kata, Karon, Nai Harn and Nai Thon beaches.

“However, these bluebottles found on Surin Beach are our first reported bluebottles this year,” she said.

Bluebottle stings can result in a severe burning sensation, warned Ms Charatsee.

“Unlike with jellyfish stings, people stung by bluebottles should not pour vinegar on the wound. This can make it worse,” she said.

“Instead, immediately wash the wound with lots of seawater followed by lots of very warm water. And seek medical assistance as soon as possible just in case,” she urged.

— Auntika Sivasen

 

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