Last weekend residents indicated that they have spotted Sea Wasps at various areas in the Territory and as a result Director of the BVI Tourist Board, Sharon Flax-Brutus admonished swimmers to take heed.
The Sea Wasp also known as the Marine Stinger is a species of the deadly and venomous Box Jellyfish. In admonishing residents to beware of the creature Flax-Brutus said: “I’m not sure what type of jellyfish this is but they were found on the beach at St. Thomas Bay this morning. Sea-bathers should exercise caution on all beaches in BVI today!”
In response to the Tourist Board Director’s Post residents noted that the Sea Wasps were first seen in the Territory weeks ago. One resident mentioned that this type of jelly fish washed up on the Trellis Bay Beach recently.
It was also noted that the Sea Wasps are common at this time of the year and noted that one had stung a swimmer at The Baths.
The Pacific Sea Wasps that are found in Asia and Australia are known to be venomous. However, these Caribbean Sea Wasp are not as potent. Nonetheless, these jellyfish should be avoided as their sting is described as being quite painful. It was also mentioned that in some instances the sting can cause allergic reaction.
The BVI Online Travel guide described these jellyfishes as “a box jellyfish with a small, four-sided, bell-shaped body, up to 2 x 3 inches, though often resembling a one inch “cube.” Its four tentacles average about 12 inches long, one attached to each bottom corner of the body.”
The guide also recommends that persons stung by Sea Wasp soak the affected area with household vinegar, and rinse exposed eyes profusely with tap water. It was also recommended that persons who are stung head to an emergency room to get urgent medical attention.