The Science of Surf Remedies: Jellyfish - Bondi Beach Lifeguard Terry McDermott on riding out the sting

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For a creature that is only 5 percent solid matter and doesn’t have a brain, jellyfish still manage keep surfers on edge. In our research into the science behind their remedy we found that…well, it depends. There are close to 200 species of jellyfish in the world, each with their own flavor of venom, each with their own recommended treatment.

So don’t let this be an end-all resource for How To Survive a Jellyfish Sting, but rather a testimonial about treatment of non-tropical jellyfish encounters.

Terry McDermott, a veteran Australian lifeguard, said they sometimes deal with hundreds of stings in one day at Bondi Beach in Sydney, and thousands in a season. “There are several creatures that sting along Australia’s east coast, and Bondi faces south so an onshore wind blows Bluebottles in, also known as Portuguese Man-of-War.” This species of jelly is similar to the type you’ll find in more moderate temperatures of water, like on the east and west coast of the U.S.

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