“People should not eat young horseshoe crabs, even if they are cooked, as they might be still poisonous,” Son Wongsala, a well known marine life expert in Phuket, told The Phuket News today.
“People should especially avoid eating horseshoe crabs caught in mangroves, as they have yet to fully develop. Young horseshoe crabs can be identified by their small size and that the tail still has hair,” he added.
Mr Son’s warning follows 46-year-old Wanthana Phutcho, 46, dying yesterday after eating a horseshoe crab that she caught with a friend near Soi King Kaew.
Ms Wanthana’s mother, Somjai Kingwongsa, 64, explained to reporters today – at Samanaksong King Kaew, in Moo 3 Rassada, where her daughter’s funeral is being held – that she and her daughter went foraging for cockles in the mangroves yesterday morning (Oct 4). While collecting the small clams, they also caught three horseshoe crabs and brought them home.
Ms Wanthana grilled one of the horseshoe crabs and ate it, Ms Somjai said. Soon after, her daughter started vomiting. She also developed a severe headache and dizziness.
Ms Somjai took Ms Wanthana to the Phuket Provincial Hospital in Rassada, but the hospital told her to take her daughter to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where Ms Wanthana was registered to receive state medical treatment.
Ms Somjai first took her daughter home, where Ms Wanthana’s condition deteriorated quickly. She started turning green, prompting Ms Somjai to call the Narenthorn Emergency hotline 1669 for an ambulance.
By the time the ambulance had arrived, Ms Wanthana had already lost consciousness. Attempts to revive her failed, Ms Somjain explained today.
Her daughter’s body was then taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where doctors confirmed that Ms Wanthana had died of poisoning from eating horseshoe crab meat, Ms Somjai said.