Phuket beaches closed as ‘toxic’ Portuguese man o’ war and jellyfish swarm sand

Officials at Sirinath National Park have closed Nai Thon and Nai Yang beaches after box jellyfish and Portuguese man o’ war have been found washed ashore by storm surf.

The two beaches are closed and beach-goers are urged not to enter the water, Park Chief Kitipas Tharapibal confirmed on Saturday.

Kitipas issued an urgent warning yesterday on Friday after lifeguards discovered Portuguese man o’ war and box jellyfish washed at Nai Thon, Nai Yang and several other beaches.

“Please, don’t play in the water or engage in any water activities at these beaches. Also, please don’t touch creatures found on the sand,” Kitipas said.

“These species are among the most toxic in the world,” he added.

Last year, a young German tourist and a Thai national died after suffering box jellyfish stings in Surat Thani. There have not been any recent reports of fatal stings by jellyfish-like Portuguese man o’ war in Thailand, but the venom of these jellyfish-like creatures can also cause severe pain or worse in the case of allergic reaction.

The Phuket Lifeguard Club Chief Prathaiyuth Chuayuan said that he supports the closure of two beaches within Sirinat National Park.

“I think this is a good idea during this time of year,” he said, admitting that tourist safety should be priority.  

Story: The Phuket News

 

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