How To Survive Marine Creature Attacks

Diving in the ocean is one of life’s greatest pleasures. However it does have its dangers. Although it is rare you should be aware that you can get stung or bitten while in the ocean. And in the event of this happening, we've have a few top tips for you to help if it should ever occur. But before we get started, if you encounter any of these dangers you must call 999 and seek medical assistance immediately. This advice is only to help in the immediate instance to relieve pain whilst awaiting medical attention.

Prevention
There are a number of ways to avoid being stung. You could just not go into the water for starters, but as scuba divers that isn’t an option. So here are a few things to bear in mind;
  • Be aware of lifeguards who have first aid training.
  • This should go without saying, but do not touch any jellyfish or Portuguese men-of-war. Although these creatures may be dead, their tentacles can still sting.
  • When diving wear protective clothing such as a wetsuit.
  • As stingrays and sea urchins are sometimes found in shallow water, by shuffling your foot in the water this will scare off any dangerous creatures.
 
Potential Dangers
  Jellyfish stings Despite what you are led to believe, do not pee on the sting. In some cases this can actually exacerbate the problem. First off, like all of the cases on this list, get out of the water as soon as possible. Remove any tentacles still attached by tweezers or a stick. Do not wash the affected area. Spreading shaving cream on the infected area. Take painkillers to reduce the pain and swelling.   Sea Urchins Yes even urchins can sting you. Remove any spines from the area using tweezers. Cover the wound with hot water for 30-90 minutes, while being careful not to burn yourself. There may still be small venomous organs called pedicellarae still in your wound. You can remove this by using a razor blade to shave over the area using a small amount of shaving foam. Wash the wound by water and water and rinse.   Stingrays There is no antidote to stingray venom so seek medical attention immediately. However if medical attention is not available then bathe the area in hot water for 30-90 minutes. The heat will numb the pain. Then take pain numbing medication.   Portuguese Man-of-War These terrifying creature's tendrils can reach 50 metres in length, this is longer than a blue whale, so keep your distance! As with the jellyfish, do not pee on it. Do not wash the area with vinegar or alcohol as this may cause more harm. If there are any tentacles still attached, then without touching it your skin, remove them. After you have done this wash the wound in saltwater, not fresh water. Soak the wound in hot water, this will soothe the pain. This pain will typically last about 15-20 minutes.   Sharks Try to remain calm, I know that’s easier said than done but do your best. Splashing will only excite the shark as it will think you are a wounded animal. Keep eye contact by circling with the shark. If it strikes toward you then make yourself as large as possible. However the opposite is true if it is merely passing by. If you have a dive knife or a spear gun then defend yourself. But if you don’t have a weapon use your hands and claw at the eyes and gills. Punch it on the nose. Then back yourself away from the shark as quickly as possible. But we must stress that deaths by sharks are very rare, in fact you are more likely to die by a cow or even a vending machine.   Have you ever been stung or bit while in the ocean?

1 comment

  • I worked in the Persian gulf in the 70/80’s and we would regularly have sharks swim around our hoses, we just ignored them, they won’t attack as there is far easier food for them, they just likes the bubbles raising under them.

    Steve Edwards

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