Portuguese Man-o-War Jellyfish Sting

We received this by email:


Dear Captains and Crews,

Last week I was on a snorkel/scuba boat in Hawaii when a 12 year old girl was stung by a Portuguese Man of War. The girl was submerged in fresh water and other swimmers were asked to capture the creature in a bucket. She was then sprayed with vinegar. All of us were so distressed by her suffering, and numerous other swimmers were affected by the attempt to capture the man o war. Most importantly, the medical care provided was incorrect. I have contacted poison control at the CDC in Atlanta about this and received confirmation that fresh water is the wrong approach. As verified on numerous websites, this only causes more poison release. CDC said 1) remove all trace of the tentacles with gloved hands and protecting your body from contact, 2) then submerge in or wash with salt water, 3) seek medical care as this can result in death and requires care in most cases.

I know you all want to provide the best possible care and there is rarely medically trained staff on board. I can send you a one page sheet which I hope you will laminate and attach to the boat after reviewing its content will all of your crew. For this I need an email that allows attachments.

Portuguese Man of War are not uncommon in Hawaii and I am sure propagating this will reduce suffering and may save lives.

Thank you for all you do in bringing to us the magic of the islands and the wonders of its seas.

Sincerely yours,

Lenore A.

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