Aquaphobia – a fear of water – is a fairly common fear among humans. People are usually afraid to swim either because of some innate, biological instinct or because they recently watched the movie Jaws.
Now, there’s another aquatic creature to fear when diving into deep waters, and while it’s nowhere as massive as most sharks, it’s just as terrifying.
People Advised To Stay Alert After Box Jellyfish Spotted In Various Spots in S’pore
If you have any plans of swimming in Sentosa, you should go ahead and figuratively throw those plans out the window, unless you’re a masochist.
Box jellyfish, a creature that looks cute but has a painful and potentially fatal sting, has been spotted several times in the last few weeks in Singapore’s waters.
Just last Friday (17 July), a young girl was stung by a box jellyfish while paddling in shallow waters near FOC Sentosa on Palawan Beach.
Conservation group Marine Stewards shared a video of the girl’s stings, which showed blisters and red lines on her leg.
The parent of the girl claimed they had to rush home to apply vinegar on her legs and hands because the lifeguards on duty didn’t have any.
Later, it was clarified that the lifeguards on duty do have vinegar on hand, actually. Turns out that the lady did not approach the Beach Patrol officers at all.
Fortunately, the girl appears to have recovered from the stings.
What’s concerning is that there were several sightings prior to this incident and it’s not just confined to Sentosa waters:
- Thursday (16 July) – a box jellyfish was spotted from a boat around the Pulau Seringat and Lazarus Island dock
- Tuesday (14 July) – a box jellyfish was spotted from a boat in the Tuas area
- 3 July – a box jellyfish more than 1m in length was seen around One Degree 15 Marina Sentosa Cove
And in March this year, a woman was stung by one of these nightmarish creatures while swimming in the waters off National Sailing Centre at East Coast Park.
The woman who was stung said the muscles in her back, hips, and shoulder went into spasm and that she had difficulty breathing.
Thankfully, she had a friend who was swimming with her and managed to bring her back to shore safely and got her help.
She also has three tips for people swimming in the ocean:
- Swim close to the shore
- Never swim alone
- Always swim with your safety buoy (preferably one with storage if you are swimming a long way so you can pack antihistamines).
The Sentosa Development Corporation issued an advisory to swimmers, saying that signs have been placed along Sentosa’s beaches to alert guests to jellyfish sightings.
Beach patrol officers are also conducting regular surveillance of the beaches and waters.
In a Facebook post on Saturday (18 July), Marine Stewards also advised people not to swim at Sentosa, Pulau Seringat, Lazarus Island, and St John’s Island for the next two weeks.
How Dangerous are Box Jellyfish?
In a word, very.
According to National Geographic, the box jellyfish developed an incredibly powerful venom to instantly stun or kill prey, so their struggle to escape wouldn’t damage its tentacles.
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Their venom is considered to be one of the most deadly in the world, as it contains toxins that attack the heart.
Reader: Just like my ex
This is not the time for your relationship melodrama, dear reader.
Reader: Ok sorry *sobs*
If you’re unfortunate enough to be stung by one of these guys, you could experience paralysis, cardiac arrest, and even death, all within a few minutes of being stung.
If you do happen to come across a box jellyfish, you should absolutely not do what this madman in Penang does and grab it with your bare hands.
Reader: Uh, yeah, I was never going to do that.
Instead, channel your inner Joseph Schooling and swim away speedily like you’re about to win Singapore’s first-ever Olympic medal.
If the box jellyfish manages to get you anyway, you should:
- Wash the area with seawater or vinegar
- Avoid rubbing the wound
- Avoid removing the tentacles
- Seek medical attention immediately
It’d be best to avoid swimming in the listed areas for now, but if you happen to spot a jellyfish in Singapore waters, please call NParks at 1800-471-7300.
Now that you know not to go swimming in the ocean for the next two weeks, you might as well just watch our video on how WiFi routers work and how you can make them fast even at home:
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