Lethal Box Jellyfish at Koh Mak on Video

Here is youtube footage taken presumably by a Swedish person while on vacation on Koh Mak in the Gulf of Thailand. It actually makes for incredible viewing.







Firstly, the very hard to see box jellyfish is a Chironex, the deadliest animal on the planet with tentacles that kill a human in a few minutes with a small sting. These animals usually move in groups so it was likely there were others as difficult to see on this particular beach.




Secondly, the Thai man called upon to remove the box jellyfish handled it like a pro. Obviously his actions were based on experience and the most likely scenario is that that experience was gained on Koh Mak. There have been many reports of sighting and stings on this island.




Thirdly, the people in the water speaking Swedish all remained in the water, joking, laughing, walking around in the shallows, calling their children over to have a look - MY GOD!! Perhaps it was a case of feeling bullet-proof when on vacation much like an inexperienced person jumping on a motorbike here without a helmet on roads that kill around 30 people and injure over 400 every day (80% without helmets). Benefit of the doubt, ignorance or naivety.

If you saw a shark in the water people what would you do? If some big Thai guy harpooned it and dragged it off for dinner would you remain in the water or would you think that maybe dinner has a brother?

Australia is the world's box jellyfish safety and awareness model. Here if a similar sighting occurred the beach would be vacated immediately and no one would be allowed in the water for at least a day while lifeguards swept with nets to ensure no other jellyfish were present. 

This scene at Koh Mak was a disaster waiting to happen and happen it will if in risk areas such as this people treat the problem as a joke. Have fun in the water folks but get serious when it comes to safety, please!


However, the main responsibility is with the resort and bar owners and tourism operators on Koh Mak and other risk areas to provide a duty of care to their guests, most of whom have no idea about the real risk and habits of box jellyfish. Take responsibility and make sure everyone is safe. Get everyone out of the water immediately! Have vinegar ready. Have lycra suits available. Have people like Mr Experience with the bucket patrolling the beach with a net to see if other box jellyfish are around instead of waiting for a sting to happen. Again. And again ...

POSTSCRIPT: Koh Mak's resort and bar owners and tourism operators have acted responsibly to their box jellyfish and taken swift and decisive action to help prevent and treat stings should they occur. They are to be congratulated and let's hope they keep up the good work and ensure the vinegar poles remain well stocked with vinegar. Read here: Koh Mak Installs Signs and Vinegar Poles


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