Jelly Fish and Stingray Stings


Both jellyfish and stingrays have distinct mechanisms of delivering their venomous attacks, and their stings can cause varying degrees of harm.

Jellyfish stings typically result from contact with their tentacles, which release venom-filled stinging cells called nematocysts upon skin contact. These stings can lead to painful red rashes, itching, swelling, and discomfort lasting for days to weeks. In the case of more toxic species like the box jellyfish,  the sting can be particularly severe and even life-threatening, causing shock and allergic reactions.

On the other hand, stingrays use their serrated, venomous tail spines to inflict wounds that are often bleeding and painful. The venom can cause excruciating pain and may lead to severe symptoms such as nausea, fever, muscle cramps, paralysis, elevated heart rate, seizures, and even death in rare cases.  How to avoid Stingrays especially at low tide, shuffle and stomp your feet as entering the water and the rays will head to deeper water. They are not aggresive, they just do not like being stepped on.  In 25 years I have not had a Stingray sting me following these simple practices. 

If stung by a jellyfish or stingray, it's important to take immediate action to minimize the effects of the venom and seek medical attention if necessary. Some general steps for first aid include carefully removing any tentacles or spines from the skin (without directly touching them to avoid further injury), soaking the affected area in appropriate solutions (salt water or vinegar for jellyfish stings, and hot water for stingray stings), washing and bandaging the wound, applying pressure to stop bleeding for stingray stings, and seeking emergency medical care if there are signs of severe allergic reactions or life-threatening symptoms. Over the years when I was doing sailing charters out of Playa Hermosa on the "Spanish Dancer"  when regularily had Golden Thread Jellyfish stings, very mild and were releived with vinegar.  As Captain, I was the one the jumped in the water first to test if jellyfish were in the area. 

It's essential to remember that in case of a medical emergency, prompt professional assistance should be sought without hesitation. Additionally, laws ensure that individuals receive necessary medical treatment and stabilization in emergency situations, regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status.

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