Jellyfish swarms invade Goa beaches, sting over 90 bathers

Swarms of stinging jellyfish have invaded the waters off Goa leaving more than 90 bathers requiring first aid in the last two days, Drishti, the lifeguarding agency manning Goa’s beaches has said.

“Over the past two days, the Baga-Calangute beach belt witnessed over 55 cases while the Candolim to Sinquerim beach stretch saw 10 cases. South Goa reported over 25 cases of jellyfish related accidents requiring immediate first aid,” Drishti Marine, said in a statement.

Jellyfish stings while usually treatable with menial first aid can also on occasion produce allergic reactions or leave the stung portion swollen or itching for days.

“In one particular incident which occurred in Baga, a male who went parasailing developed chest pain and experienced breathing difficulty after being stung by a jellyfish. As he was short of breath, oxygen was administered while an ambulance was called for and the victim was rushed to the hospital,” the agency said.

Jellyfish are of two kinds – toxic and non-toxic. Most jellyfish stings are harmless to humans and cause only mild irritation but in very rare cases jellyfish species can cause harm on contact.

Jellyfish stingings have been rare occurrences but off late are being reported with increasing frequency along the coast.

Drishti lifesavers posted along the beach were inundated with first aid cases related to jellyfish stings.

Goa’s beaches were thrown open for tourists after the lockdown ended and the monsoons receded making the waters safer for bathing.

In the recent past, sightings of the Portuguese man-o-war more commonly known as the bluebottle jellyfish have been sighted but more common jellyfish often remain undetected.

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