Invasion of the Jellyfish!
*Please note - No jellyfish invasion that we could see summers 2009/2010 *
The Med (and apaprently many others seas so I've read) have in recent years had large invasions of jellyfish coming to the shore making a total nuicance of themsleves and interrupting the joy of nipping in for a quick carefree dip (especially at night!)
They say this is due to global warming, pollution of our oceans and over fishing of the fish that eat the jellyfish (tuna and mackerel in particular). Building madness along the costas has ruined the breeding of turtles which are also big jellyfish eaters.
These brainless blobs can't actually swim and float en mass in the winds and tides, so they can be there one day and gone the next. They have always been in existance, but used to stay out in much deeper water - now they come close to the shore as shallow water temperatures rise.
Having experienced a couple of invasions along the Granada coast myself and done plenty of research to back up the locals theory, here is how to treat a sting should you be unfortunate enough to receive one :
Rinse affected area in seawater, NEVER use fresh or bottled water as this enhances the pain.
Ideally apply ALOT of vinegar, I know you don't usually take vinegar to the beach, but I can tell you, savvy locals never go swimming without a small bottle of the stuff in warm countries these days (and often there will be a nearby chiriguito that may give you some)...
Take anti histamine tablets to the beach (easily available over the counter) to ward off and allergic reaction.
If there is a serious allergic reaction call the emergency services immediately.
If (unlikely) there are any tentacles still attached be careful how you remove them (!) flood with vinegar first. (Dismembered tentacles can still sting, as can dead jellyfish).
The stings in the Almunecar region are not usually that bad, a friend's daughter got stung a couple of years back and laughed it off without much fuss and they usually subside within a few hours, but maybe she was 'lucky'. Obviously, if you are diving a wetsuit should protect you.
The local councils are trying their best to reduce the problem with jellyfish lookout and hoover boats, netting and a flag warning system . Apparently, the Chinese are wanting to buy them for food! This year has so far seen invasions in the south of France, the Balearics and elsewhere as pedicted by marine scientists. If these little pests make an arrival while you are in Almunecar, there is always the (seawater) water park until they have moved off.
*Update*- Summer 2009 - My daughter got stung by a jellyfish after doing a handstand in shallow waters, someone had put a jelly fish in a plastic bag and buried it, the handstand dragged it up. So please think carefully if you want to dispose of one. Maybe in a bin away from the shore! the sting left a tell-tale mark, red cross washed it in salt water, dabbed it with vinegar and stuck some light gauze over it (told to keep out of the sun). The ' little rock sta'r wore it like a badge of honour!
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