Phuket Installs Jellyfish Treatment Vinegar Poles & Signs

Phuketwan, Phuket's independent English-speaking online newspaper, reports today that "the Phuket Marine Biological Centre and Phuket Public Health have set up jellyfish awareness posters and sting treatment stations along Phuket's popular west coast beaches."

The article tells us that unnamed officials insist that this is a precautionary measure only and not a response to an increase in jellyfish stings.

Interestingly, we’re told later in the article that officials are not talking: “The fact that the key public health bodies for the region have installed jellyfish awareness stations on Phuket's west coast but do not wish to talk about them is equally puzzling.

Rumors, gossip, false reports and needless fears are put to rest in only one way in the 21st century: by health bodies being absolutely transparent and making public safety and health issues their one and only priority.

In all cases, this means truthfully telling people what's happening.”

Not sure what this is all about.

The PMBC and health officials should be applauded for the initiative that follows on from recent similar installations in Satun Province and the hard work of locals on Kohs Mak and Kood.

Are they not telling us the real reasons for the installations? Is any data on jellyfish and sting numbers on Phuket available? There does not seem to be any made public. There must be something somewhere as the Bangkok bean-counters wouldn’t be paying for this for nothing.

Or are officials concerned that not everyone will stand up and cheer? There’s big money, high stakes and a lot of shit that goes down on Phuket. Are they perhaps a little fearful of putting their name to something that could be perceived as scaring tourists away?

The lack of transparency is a concern as stated by Phuketwan, it follows on from the head in the sand mentality that existed – still does to a point – pre-2009. If news of a fatality or serious envenomations were to hit the headlines; indeed, if they were shown to have occurred and consequently covered up, Phuket would be in big trouble. Potential for panic.

Anyway, there are as of January 2013 11 new dangerous jellyfish signs and vinegar poles installed on Phuket’s beaches. Hopefully they will be left to serve their purpose of protecting beach users and not defaced or damaged or destroyed.

Great work PMBC, but please speak up adhering to your advertised objectives (in English) of conducting studies, educating and raising public awareness. We’d love to hear from you. As would the vast majority of the people most at risk on these beaches who do not log on to your website and do not speak Thai.  

The signs by the way are in Thai and English.

The beaches are Patong and Sirinath National Park near Phuket Airport (2 stations) and single stations at Nai Yang, Nai Thon, Bang Tao, Surin, Kata, Kamala, Karon and Nai Harn.

Further Reading:


  1. Such warning signs are indeed very useful for tourists who are not familiar with the surrounding area. I was one of them. We went for a trip to one of the beaches at Phuket and decided to take a swim to cool ourselves down in the hot tropical weather. We did not see anyone else around in the waters but did not think of what the reason was. Just a few minutes inside, I felt a tingling sharp pain on my legs and arms but just ignored them as I thought I knocked against some seaweeds. After a while the pain got stronger and I got out with many painful and stingy swollen arms and legs. Thankfully there was a pharmacy nearby that sells antiseptic ointment for jellyfish stings.


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