Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jellyfish Alert on the French Riviera

Les méduses (Jellyfish) are a summertime nuisance for swimmers, so a number of French Riviera beaches have decided to install anti-jellyfish nets, that respect the aquatic faune and flora:

Antibes: the private beaches Joseph and Keller in La Garoupe
Beaulieu-sur-Mer: Baie des Fourmis and La Petite Afrique
Cannes: public beaches of Gazagnaire, Macé (semi-circular net provides a ‘pool’ area), & Roubine
Monaco: plages du Larvotto
Villefranche: sector of the Plage des Marinières

You can also check a new alert site, being created by the Oceanic Observatory in Villefranche, that indicates 48 hours in advance the probability of the “pelagia noctiluca,” based on calculations of the sea currents, wind, and plankton. With this new forecasting system, tourists can know what to expect, from Menton to Saint-Tropez, before stepping into the water.

If you happen to get stung, here’s what is recommended and to avoid doing:
  • Wash the site with sea water, NOT regular water which reactivates the venom
  • Apply some sand with sea water on the areas (the venom sticks to the sand instead of the skin); in case there is no sand, scrape the area with a credit card
  • Do not rub the area
  • Apply an acidic solution (like lemon juice) to inactivate the venom (urine also works); lifeguard stations use a 10% ammonia/water solution
  • Cortisone cream can help ease the pain and help heal the scar

  • Being prepared can help you enjoy your Mediterranean summer, so come on in, the water is great!

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