Stinging situation as Bluebottles sighted around Racha Islands

Picture courtesy of DMCR

The Thai authorities issued a warning about the presence of Portuguese Man o’ War, also known as bluebottles, at the Racha Islands, located south of Phuket, following an incident where a tour boat staff member was stung yesterday.

The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) has identified bluebottles at Ao La, Ao Tu, and Racha Yai Islands. Tourists and marine activity participants in these areas have been advised to remain vigilant.

A crew member from Seafarer Divers experienced breathing difficulties after being stung. He was promptly transported to Chalong Pier, where an ambulance awaited. Currently, he is in stable condition, along with two divers who were also affected.

Bluebottles pose a significant threat due to their venom. Contact can result in severe burning pain, and the venom can affect the skin, nervous system, and heart, potentially proving fatal. The DMCR advises using a hard object to carefully remove tentacles without direct hand contact.

Avoid massaging the affected area or applying medication. Instead, continuously pour vinegar over the sting site for at least 30 seconds, and never use fresh water, as it can exacerbate the spread of venom. Immediate medical attention is crucial.

The confirmation of bluebottles at the Racha Islands follows reports of these marine creatures washing ashore in Phuket over the weekend. The Phuket Lifeguard Service noted sightings at Karon Beach and Bang Tao on June 22, followed by Mai Khao on June 24.

In response to these incidents, the DMCR has introduced the Marine Warning Application. This tool monitors and collects data on marine disasters, including seawater colour changes, reverse waves, oil spills, and sightings of poisonous jellyfish. The application provides real-time notifications based on incident coordinates within a specified radius, allowing the public to report emergencies related to marine and coastal hazards, reported The Phuket News.

Tourists and residents are encouraged to utilise this resource to stay informed and ensure their safety while enjoying Phuket’s marine environments. The application is available for free download on both web and mobile platforms, accessible via Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

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Bright Choomanee

With a degree in English from Srinakharinwirot University, Bright specializes in writing engaging content. Her interests vary greatly, including lifestyle, travel, and news. She enjoys watching series with her orange cat, Garfield, in her free time.

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