Sea wasp stings land swimmers in hospital

| 29/05/2019 | 23 Comments

Sea wasp

(CNS): At least two people were treated in hospital on Monday after several swimmers were stung by jellyfish while visiting Stingray City, according to reports from watersports operators. The Department of Environment said the jellyfish are likely to be sea wasps (Carybdea alata), a small species that is almost transparent and can deliver a nasty sting. While they are rare in Cayman, they are found off the coastal waters of Florida, Bahamas and other areas of the Caribbean. “Recent weather conditions may be responsible for bringing them into near-shore waters,” the DoE said.

In a press release about the reports of the jellyfish, the DoE urged people to be cautious in the water around the Sandbar and the barrier reef.

“These small jellies are not easy to see and can deliver a painful sting that leaves welts and redness if they contact bare skin. Home treatments can include pouring white vinegar on sting areas. However, if the victim’s reaction to the sting persists or becomes severe, it is advised to seek proper medical attention immediately,” the department added.

Sea wasps typically tend to inhabit shallow water at night, float near coral reefs, and are attracted by lights.

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  1. Patrick says:

    A friend and I were both stung while snorkeling at night behind the cemetery in West Bay Grand Cayman. We ended up about 200 yards offshore enjoying that amazingly clear water. We’d started seeing these purple rectangular tube looking things with a tentacle on each of the four bottom corners at about 50 yards from shore. My friend got nailed on his upper arm so we went in because he was in excruciating pain. I got stung on the way in on top of my foot and it hurt like a monster by the time we hit the beach. We had to swim all over the place including left, right, and diving under because they were thick on the way back in! We got to shore, I peed on my foot which was easy…he had to catch it in his hand and splash it on his arm near his shoulder. His wife and son were entertained by that I believe. Thankfully it was dark out! Lol! Pee helped for like two seconds. Drove to get some baking soda or whatever we could find at a gas station where a local woman said hot water helps. Got to hotel, he got in shower and hot water stopped the pain immediately. I had my foot in the sink and had the same result. Zero pain while hot water was running over it. About 1 second after you stopped the hot water, it hurt like madness. These are two cornbread fed country boys and that sea wasp had us hollering out loud from pain. Those things NAILED us. Found out later they swarm, come out at night, and are attracted to light. We had the trifecta. There’s a saying here in the mountains: “If you’re gonna be dumb, you’ve GOT to be tough.” He was literally on his elbows and knees on the bed rocking back and forth in pain. I prayed for him and myself. Also found out later, in an ocean life book in a Cayman dive shop, that you’re are supposed to treat for shock and get medical attention immediately when stung by those purple devils. Prayer works!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know about here, but Jellyfish Arrival Calendar – Jellyfish Forecast for Hawaii Beaches is published and tied to moon cycles. Signs are posted on beaches as well.
    I and my child seem to be attracting jellyfish here and when we visit Hawaii. Had an ER visit once in Honolulu and here were stung once non stop while swimming at the Governor beach. It was very unpleasant and felt like electric shock.

  3. Ron Ebanks says:

    Stop the Crime ,
    I don’t know what will work for you , but I know it worked for me and many more people .

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sea Wasp

    Species – Chironex Fleckeri

    AKA – Box Jellyfish, Fire Medusa, Indringa.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong ocean. Chironex Fleckeri is only found in the northern waters of Australia, New Guinea , Vietnam and the waters around the Philippines. It is not an Atlantic/Caribbean species.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In my 20+ years of torching for squabs and lobsters and having been hit dozens of times by the nasty little devils, I can say that I have found no remedy for their sting. Calamine, if anything, helps a slight bit. Cortisone doesn’t work. Urine is at least entertaining for all present. Perhaps a person’s particular skin type matters.

    Sea wasp sting is far more severe than the common small jellyfish and are more box-shaped (as seen best at night). I’ve never seen or felt them during the day, however thimbles are fairly common during the day.

    • StopTheCrime says:

      Did you try vinegar? That’s supposed to neutralize the sting.

      • Anonymous says:

        Vinegar works for a minor sting, but in some severe cases this does not do enough. I’ve found that ice helps the pain but need to head straight to hospital if extreme pain persists

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes. Have tried rhat several times. It should work since the acidity should neutralise the proteins. It has never made much of a difference for my skin.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cut a lime in two – and grill it on your electric stove burner – then apply to the sting. Kill it dead on the spot. Pain and itch. no need for a hospital trip. learnt this on the Bay Islands

  6. Ron Ebanks says:

    That is a very good suggestion with the white vinegar and if you don’t have vinegar urine is always there , the object is to get the sting neutralized as quick as possible .. Works on sea urchins too .

    • StopTheCrime says:

      This has actually been tested by pros: urine does NOT work.

      • Piers says:

        it didnt work for me, neither did brown sauce. I actually found the best thing to be sticking the body part back in the sea. No idea why but it helped me.

        • Anonymous says:

          If it was jellyfish tentacles the sea water possibly helped to wash them off. With jellyfish tentacles that remain on the skin fresh water, vinegar, etc., causes them to sting more so the first step is to wash off the tentacles with seawater (which they do not react to) and then apply vinegar, etc.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    I got stung on my nuts once and they doubled in size. It was painful but the result was brilliant.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What were the land swimmers doing in the hospital in the first place??

    Also, what the heck is a “land swimmer”?

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