September 3, 2013

Local Coastguard issues warning to swimmers after three persons come into contact with jellyfish on beach

Persons swimming in waters off the Indian Bay and Villa beaches have been urged to be cautious while doing so.{{more}}

The warning comes after three persons were treated and discharged at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital after coming into contact with jellyfish in these waters.

On August 31, it was reported that a large number of the free-swimming marine creatures were spotted just off the shores of the two beaches.

According to Internet sources, jellyfish or jellies are the major non-polyp form of individuals of the phylum Cnidaria. They are typified as free-swimming marine animals, consisting of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. The bell can pulsate for locomotion, while stinging tentacles can be used to capture prey.

Commander Brenton Caine of the SVG Coastguard and Assistant Superintendant of Police Jonathan Nichols of the Public Relations Department of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, when contacted yesterday, told SEARCHLIGHT that divers from the Coastguard were sent to investigate the matter on Sunday, but there were no sightings.

Caine said some of the officers even dived the waters, but no jellyfish were seen.

While saying it is safe for persons to swim in the waters again, Caine urged them to be cautious.

“We just have to keep monitoring, because some of these things drift with the tides,” he said.

There are 200 known species of jellyfish and about 70 of them are considered to have a venomous sting.