The deadly Chironex species of Box Jellyfish is the most likely culprit that caused a life-threatening sting to a British woman on a West Railay beach in June 2011.
- Some of the life-threatening stings suffered by a British woman while swimming at beautiful West Railay beach, Krabi in June 2011
The woman reported that she was swimming at around 6pm when she felt exruciating pain on her legs, arm and abdoman. With up to 4 tentacles still on her body, the woman emerged from the sea experiencing severe pain as though her entire body was on fire and she began hyperventilating. The sting was later deemed as ‘life-threatening’ and it was her controlled breathing and quick action that most likely saved her life.
There were no warning signs at the beach or resorts. No staff warned that there was the risk of a sting. The woman was helped to a nearby restaurant where a staff member suggested that she apply vinegar to the stings – no vinegar was available! This staff member told the woman that he often sees people stung yet even so nothing is made available or done to ensure that stings can be treated on the spot and lives potentially saved.
Last November a Spanish woman was severaly stung at the same place – it is presumed that many are stung but do not report so no official acknowledgement is made. The only reason this recent case is known is because the woman went to the trouble of reporting it. All stings should be reported. Contact either the Phuket Marine Biological Centre, Thailand Dept of Public Health (Bureau of Epidemiology) or the Marine Medic – all websites are listed in this blog profile.
The Chironex Box Jellyfish venom stops the will to breathe and it was the controlled breathing of this woman over a 2 hour period of intense pain and suffering that most likely kept her alive.
The woman has experienced prolonged nerve problems and loss of appetite since the sting. The scarring is severe at the moment but should heal well if properly treated.
With plenty of mangrove areas in around Krabi, Ao Nang and Railay beaches providing excellent habitat for Box Jellyfish, it is advised that all people swimming in or using the water in the region should carry their own vinegar and preferably wear a lycra suit.