San Juan brought with it unwanted summer visitors; jelly fish – and bloody big ones, at that! During the night, bathers were blissfully unaware of the ‘invasion fleet,’ apart from the occasional sting victim but the next day, people started hooking ‘aliens’ out of the water.
One of the brutes weighed between ten and 15 kilos; in other words, you could surf on it.
So, what do you do if you are stung by one of the blighters? Vinegar (3–10% aqueous acetic acid) is a common remedy to help with jellyfish stings, but not the stings of the Portuguese Man o’ War (which is not a true jellyfish, but a colony).
For stings on or around the eyes, a towel dampened with vinegar is used to dab around the eyes, with care taken to avoid the eyeballs. Salt water is an alternative if vinegar is unavailable but fresh water is is a no-no, as it causes changes in tonicity, which release additional venom.
Talking of no-noes, rubbing the sting area, or using alcohol, spirits, ammonia, or urine may have strongly negative effects as these can encourage the release of venom.
If you look at the affected area, you might see fine tentacles stuck to the skin – do not try and remove them with your fingers; it’s better to use a credit card, for example… and no we’re not referring to bribery, but using it to scrape the skin surface.
However, your safest bet is to hoof it over to the nearest First-Aid post on the beach and get them to treat it for you.
(News: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)