Tourists visiting Koh Lanta island in Krabi province are being warned to avoid swimming in the sea following reported sightings of the deadly siphonophore known as the Portuguese man o’ war.
Recent Sting Incident
On August 1, a Thai tourist posted on her Facebook that she had been stung by a sea creature resembling a jellyfish while walking along a Koh Lanta beach. The photos she uploaded indicated that the creature was a siphonophore.
Authorities Take Action
Neramit Songsaeng, chief of the Lanta Islands National Park, stated on Wednesday that he had been informed last week of the presence of the deadly siphonophore, also called Portuguese man o’ war, by several local hotels in Sala Dan subdistrict of Ko Lanta district. He then instructed hotels and local government administrations in the area to warn tourists about the creature.
Rare Sightings in Thailand
Portuguese man o’ war are not usually found in Thailand, but some have been known to appear along the Thai coast during the monsoon season, according to Mr. Neramit. The sting of this particular siphonophore can affect the nervous system and heart, causing severe pain. People are strongly advised not to touch them directly.
First Aid Measures
The best treatment if stung is to pour vinegar on the affected area and seek medical advice immediately.