Raising Awareness, Lowering The Odds

I read recently that the American National Safety Council state that the odds of dying over the period of one year due to an air/space transport accident are 1 in 500,000.

I gather this is in the USA only and includes ultra light and light aircraft, helicopters, balloons, military etc - all pretty high risk - on top of commercial airplanes.

So I would think that this brings the likelihood of being killed in a commercial flight down dramatically.

Yet, passenger safety on a commercial flight is paramount and tried and true systems are in place for all passengers to openly engage in and follow in case of an emergency. Knowing the plane could fall out of the sky at any moment causing instant death does not deter millions from flying.

Parallels could be drawn with lethal Box Jellyfish where the odds of being killed are not great - we'll have to get Thailand's NSC onto the stats!! - but it does occur and the results are devastating so similarly there should be systems and processes in place to minimize the risk...as there is with fire safety plans in office buildings and as there is with tsunami warning systems along the coast.

We know that there are potentially lethal jellyfish in Thailand's waters, we know that people receive near-fatal and fatal stings and we know that if it keeps going tourism will potentially be severely hit everytime a death occurs until visitors vote with their VISA cards and go for a swim somewhere safer like Fiji, Bali, the Caribbean, etc.

So while a risk exists it is important for all concerned that the truth be made public and that the public be given the best opportunity to survive in case of the inevitable emergency - and with Box Jellyfish it is easy: vinegar available on the beaches (in a pole or station, or the front bar of a resort/hotel/restaurant, or carried by the individual), locals including resort staff be made familiar with the first aid treatment and individuals take responsibility and wear lycra stinger suits - particularly innocent children who through the habits of both the Box Jellyfish and the child have much, much higher odds of being killed.

Here are photos of a vinegar station at Broome in West Australia's famous and very popular Cable Beach which doesn't stop loads of people enjoying the water their every day. At least they know what to do just in case.


  1. Hi Just thought I would write to let you know that a young boy in our party was stung by one of these just off the coast of Koh Samui on December 30th 2009.

    He was stung across the wrist and right hand causing a very nasty burn. The tentacle was hanging from a boats anchor rope.

    He made a complete recovery but the the hand and wrist were still badly marked two weeks and more after the sting .

    If you would lik eto know anymore please email me martin-ricketts@btconnect.com

  2. Very interesting, while diving near Koh phi phi I removed 2 tentacles from my arm during the dive, didn't see the jellyfish. Didn't hurt too much either (did itch), but now, 3 weeks later the scar still is visible. This is a shot I took one or 2 days after the dive http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sSp1RC1xK8 Can you see what jellyfish caused this? My email is lalau88@hotmail.com. Thank you !

  3. Hi Lau .. at one look it could be a type of box jellyfish, perhaps a smaller single-tentacle species - morbakka? .. it would be helpful to know where at Phi Phi the sting occurred and at what date/time and with which diving company .. I am at Koh Phi Phi at the moment and would like to find out if possible .. by the way, I have seen no sign of box jellyfish here and it is not a known area for sightings or stings particularly on the beaches. Thanks!

  4. I went to Thailand first time last november and there first heard from box jelly fish in Thai waters. Home again I did a huge internet research and was really shocked, that there seem to be tourist deaths (and uncounted deaths of thais) for about 10 years or more every year and nobody seems to care. I agree with you very much: You have to inform everyone about the risks and what can be done when being stung. Then everyone can make a free decision if to go for a swim or not. But keeping it a secret and showing no official responsibility is a shame! The government also should make an effort to look in it in more detail: Which sorts of jelly do they have, when do they occur where, where do they bread and so on. In Australia this is taken care of and knowing more about their habits would also help to reduce the risk.


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