Box jellyfish that can kill in minutes found at Koh Phangan

WARNING signs have been put up at Koh Phangan island’s tourist beaches warning holidaymakers that a deadly variety of box jellyfish that can kill in 2 minutes had been found in the area, with the antidote being to immediately splash vinegar on the wound, Thai News Agency reported today (Sept 18, 2018).

Surat Thani Governor Wichavud  Chinto is worried about the security of the tourists and has sent out an urgent letter to Koh Phangan, which is famous for its Full Moon parties, and key government agencies to warn the tourists and the general public that they should avoid going to the sea a Chaloklum beach.

He also told Koh Phangan officials to put up warning signs at the beaches and stock vinegar at all key points.

The alert was sounded by the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Center after 25 box jellyfish of the deadly chironex indrasaksajiae variety that can kill a person in 2 minutes were found during September 10-11.

At the sametime Dr Pahol Phiraphiyyo, deputy head at Koh Phangan Hospital, and Mr Thawit Somwang, honorary advisor at Haad Rin beach,  checked Chaloklum and Haad Rin beaches and found that the warning signs had been put up and bottles of vinegar placed all around.

Thawit said Haad Rin is where the Full Moon Party are held and there are lots of tourists sunbathing and swimming in the sea at this beach. For this reason the community had put nylon nets in the sea near the beach to keep the box jellyfish out. There are also officials on the beaches to quickly take care of anyone injured.

Dr Pahol said if anyone gets bitten by a box jellyfish they should splash vinegar on the wound within 30 seconds, and not wash with ordinary water. The wounded person should then be quickly brought to the hospital  where all the preparations to treat these deadly bites have been made.


Top: One of the 25 deadly box jellyfish that were caught near Koh Phangan. Photo: Thai News Agency