Officers from the Phuket Marine Resources Conservation Center and local administration organisations have been bolstering lifeguard stations with extra bottles of vinegar and other medical supplies to help provide treatment for stings.
The move follows increases in reported stings along the west coast, including at Patong Beach.
Suchart Ratanaruangsri, Director of Phuket Marine Resource Conservation Center, yesterday (Feb 16) visited the lifeguard station at Karon Beach, where Karon Municipality has now installed a sign warning visitors of jellyfish.
The sign, in Thai language only, explains what to do if tourists are stung by jellyfish while playing in the water.
Mr Suchart said his officers will visit more than 20 important beaches around the island, including Patong Beach, Kata, Karon, Nai Yang, Surin Beach and Cape Panwa 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,” Mr Suchart said.
“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,” he said.
“Jellyfish are found in coastal areas of Phuket. Most of them are ordinary ‘fire jellyfish’,” Mr Suchart added.
“However, sometimes there is also the Portuguese man o’ war, which delivers a much more violent sting and can even be life-threatening, So be prepared to protect yourself from jellyfish before swimming in the sea is important,” Mr Suchart said.
“People should observe the warning signs and swim in the safe areas marked by lifeguards, and they should strictly follow the warnings of the authorities,” he said.
Of note, Mr Suchart made no specific mention of any rising incidents of people at Phuket beaches being stung by Portuguese man o’ war, also called bluebottles. He repeatedly referred to only “jellyfish” stings as increasing.
JohnC | 18 February 2023 - 10:05:53