Goa’s lifeguard agency issued an advisory on Thursday, after over 90 cases of jellyfish stings were reported along the state’s beaches, which forced lifeguards to administer first-aid to beachgoers over the last two days.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Drishti Marine, a private lifeguard agency hired by the Goa government to man the state’s popular beaches, urged tourists and beachgoers to exercise caution while hitting the surf, especially close to the shoreline.
“Over 90 cases of jellyfish stings were reported along the coast between yesterday and today. Drishti lifesavers posted along the beach were inundated with first aid cases related to jellyfish stings,” the statement said, adding that most of the cases, 65, which were reported over the last 48 hours occurred along the popular Baga-Sinquerim beach stretch, while 25 instances were reported along beaches in South Goa district.
“In one particular incident which occured 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 statement said.
Jellyfish stings are usually harmless to humans and can potentially cause only mild irritation, but in rare cases a sting from a toxic jellyfish could require medical attention.
In wake of the spate of jellyfish attacks, Drishti Marine has advised tourists to “be cautious of the presence of jellyfish that could possibly be present in the waters or along the shoreline”.
“If stung by a jellyfish inform the nearest lifesaver or approach the lifesaver tower. Wash the stung area with hot water (as hot as you can stand it) as heat further breaks down the toxins. Generously spray the stung area with vinegar. It is known to diffuse any poison that may be more active in the nematocysts present in the tentacles,” the statement said, adding that application of ice packs can also reduce the pain and swelling.