Stings from marine animals and how to avoid them

Written By : Walkerbay Dive School
April 2, 2020

Stings and how to avoid them

Everywhere in the ocean there are jellyfish, you may be out on your morning swim or even scuba diving; therefore it is vitally important to always be prepared for any stings/marine animals in the area. The importance of knowing the area is critical to staying safe and avoiding dangerous animals/corals.

Always make sure to wear some form of exposure protection such as a wetsuit/second skin suit, this will make any stings less painful, it may even keep jellyfish tentacles away from your skin, thus avoiding getting stung completely. Water shoes keep your feet safe from sharp corals/cone shells/marine animals that may hide in the sand. Scuba diving does not always require gloves but eventhough they’re good for keeping your hands warm, they also keep your hands safe in the scenario where you need to push jellyfish out of the way to get to the surface.

Jellyfish swimming free

Steps to take if a sting occurs

First of all get out of the water as safely as possible and furthermore if a severe allergic reaction occurs, call emergency services immediately. There are a few things that you can do to sooth the stingins sensation such as using vinegar to rinse the affected area for at least 30 seconds. Use tweezers to remove the remaining tentacles. Once all tentacles are removed, soak the affected area in hot water. It should not be scalding hot. You can treat stings with antihistamine creams or pills but it is probably a good idea to contact a medical proffesional first in case of potential allergies. Make sure to keep the wound clean or bandaged

Why do we get stung by marine animals?

Most marine animals are docile creatures anwd e are visitors in their oceanic home and therefor it is our responsibility to only leave footprints or bubbles. Rock pools have small marine animals in them which we must refrain from touching being sure to not go after them into small crevices where they hide. Marine animals mostly react to us in self-defence we can’t really blame them. 

Hazardous marine animals to look out for

  1. Cone shell
  2. Blue bottle
  3. Box jellyfish
  4. Sea urchin
  5. Stingrays

Keep a lookout for our next blog where we discuss night dives and how to prepare yourself .