Photo: Will Ryder
A swarm of mauve stingers have washed up along the southern coast of Malta, with Pretty Bay, a popular bay in Bir?ebbu?a, becoming practically un-swimmable. Photos show a large number of jellyfish near the shoreline, seemingly floating in the water as their numbers bloom.
“There were people on the beach but not many, and they were all avoiding the water,” says Will Ryder, who spotted the jellyfish. “The smaller part of the beach seemed to be better and more clear of them.”
This is not the first wave of mauve stingers to hit Malta this summer
The mauve stingers (Pelagia noctiluca) enter Maltese waters nearly every summer, when the temperature becomes warmer. Unfortunately for anyone hoping to actually swim, they head to the surface of the sea and begin to reproduce as fast as they can.
Just three months ago they flooded the east and south coasts of Malta
- In the case of the Mauve Stinger, the following advice is given:-
- Carefully rinse with seawater, do not rub the affected area.
- If available, apply a mixture of seawater and baking soda (1:1 ratio) for two minutes. This will stop any further release of venom from the stinging cells left on the skin.
- Use a plastic credit card to remove any residual tentacles and excess baking soda mixture
- Apply cold packs for 5-15 minutes. For example, use a bag of ice or even cold drink wrapped in a cloth.
- Assess the degree of pain and reapply cold pack if required for further 5 mins
- If pain persists, consult a doctor or pharmacist who should prescribe painkillers and/or anti-inflammatory creams e.g. 3-4% Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone.
- DO NOT wrap in bandages nor use vinegar, fresh water, alcohol and ammonia, all of which can aggravate the situation further.