Phuket lifeguards warn swimmers after Portuguese man o’ war found on beaches
Phuket lifeguards are warning swimmers after Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish were spotted on the island’s west coast beaches on Monday.
“Warning to all beach swimmers that Portuguese man o’ war were found on Nai Yang beach, Mai Khao Beach and Patong Beach. If you feel pain on your skin, it may caused by their sting. Please contact a lifeguard on your beach for treatment or seek medical assistance at a local hospital,” the message reads.
Also known as the “blue bottle”, the jellyfish are a common occurrence off Phuket during the monsoon season.
Although the jellyfish can be broken up by the southwest swell, their little ‘stingers’ still float around in the water, causing irritation.
Anyone who suffers a sting from a Portuguese man o’ war will not soon forget it, according to lifeguards.
Signs and symptoms can include searing pain, usually with a single raised white welt with a prominent beading effect.
Multiple welts may occur with mass stinging as the jellyfish tentacles drag across the skin.
Whilst it is extremely rare for a sting from a Portuguese man o’ war to cause a fatality, swimmers should be aware of the possibilities of a painful sting.
Bathers can be just in the wrong place at the wrong time and swim into the tentacles, as the Portuguese man o’ war does not know how to attack or swim towards its unforeseen victims, lifeguards explained.