Monday, April 01, 2013

Dangers Of The Seashore and Deserted Island, What to look For...

     Although this post is related to the last few posts... "Finding food on the Seashore and Deserted Island", "Surviving On A Deserted Island" , and "Seashores And The Survivor", doesn't mean that it wont apply to you, even if your not in a survival situation.

     Let's just say for instance, that you are planning to visit the Islands of Fiji, Hawaii, Caribbeans, or maybe your just planning on going to the beach for a week for a family vacation.  This article is just as important to you as it is for someone that may become stranded (or if you and your family become stranded). You could use this Valuable information to keep you and your family safe while fishing, going out on boat rides, Canoeing, skydiving, scuba diving, or just hanging out on the seashore. So that being said, Lets talk about...

The Dangers of the Seashore and Ocean... What to look for... What to Stay Away From... and What To Do If you encounter any of these dangers.

    We all love to play in the ocean, and some of us go out pretty far, But unless you are in water no higher than your thighs, the water is usually much to murky to see through. Which means that you are risking stepping on something unpleasant, painful or poisonous, waves sweeping you on to rocks or coral, or encountering a dangerous fish that you don't want to have the pleasure of meeting, which I will explain in just a moment.

   For a survivor, it's important to wear shoes when foraging in the water, Something with a sole is best, If you are having to improvise footwear, Cloth wrapping is not enough to protect from spines, coral reef, or dangerous fish. It is best to look around the seashore for washed up garbage, you can often find flip flops, tennis shoes, and other various rubber or thick material that you can use to make some sort of shoe. Remember trash is treasure when surviving.

   When vacationing, it's a good idea to have some water shoes to protect your feet when playing in the ocean, especially if you plan on going out in deeper water, exploring coral reefs, or if you are not familiar with the area. Stepping on a sea urchin or jelly fish can be extremely painful, but if you have some sort of water shoe or other kind of shoe's with a sole, then you are less likely to become injured. It's always best to play it safe and enjoy your vacation, then be hurt and have to spend the rest of your vacation suck in your hotel room.

Jellyfish... Often jellyfish are swept ashore after a storm. Sometimes you will even see them while walking down the shoreline after high tide. Some, especially in the tropics, stings are very severe. The Box Jellies or Sea Wasps of northern Australian beaches, are the most dangerous. The bell shaped body of the largest Box Jelly reaches only 10 inches but its tentacles can reach  30 feet. Almost transparent, and difficult to see, each tentacle is armed with millions of stinging cells. Although their venom is one of the most deadly known and high concentrations cause skin lesions and death, usually only a very high dose is fatal to humans.
Some Jellyfish are not venomous, but that doesn't mean that the sting still wont be extremely painful, causing skin lesions, blisters, or an allergic reaction. Small or large, size is not an indication of potency, if you happen to get stung by any kind of jellyfish, DO NOT pull the tentacles off or wipe the slime away with your hands, you will just get stung more and cause yourself more pain, and spread more poison across your body.

Follow these steps if you are stung by a jellyfish...

  1.    Stay Safe. As always, safety is the most important step. Jellyfish tentacles (nematocysts) may still be on the skin. Follow universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if available.**If the species is known to be box jellyfish  or Irukandji emergency medical help immediately. For box jellyfish stings, vinegar may help (see tips).
  2.    Rinse the tentacles off. Rinse away the tentacles using hot water if possible (see step 5 for how hot). If heated water isn't available, use salt water rather than fresh. Fresh water may worsen the stinging pain.
  3.   Peel off the tentacles. Remove any remaining tentacles with a gloved hand, stick, shell, seaweed or tweezers. Be careful not to get the tentacles on yourself or on clothing. Jellyfish tentacles can still sting even after they've been ripped from the body of the jellyfish. If you use bare hands to pluck tentacles off, you'll most likely get stung on the fingers. That's also why it's so important to remove them. If you don't the victim will keep getting stung until all the nematocysts are used up.
  4.   Watch for anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can result in: itching, hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, tightening of the throat, flushed skin, weakness, dizziness.                                                                                                                        ****Anaphylaxis can also cause a drop in blood pressure known as anaphylactic shock.****                                                                                                                                                   
  5.  Immerse the stung area in hot water. How hot is hot? There isn't much evidence that water under 102 degrees is going to help, and a lot of evidence that water over 122 degrees is extremely effective. Since it's unlikely you'll have a thermometer to accurately gauge the temperature of water in a shower or a hot bath, the general rule is to have the victim either shower or immerse the sting in the hottest water he or she can stand. Work up to the heat and be careful not to scald (burn) the victim.
  6.  Ibuprofen and acetaminophen will help relieve pain. Ice or heat may also help. Mild itching may be helped with diphenhydramine.
The Portuguese man of war looks like a jellyfish but is actually a colony of polyps. It can have tentacles of 30 feet long, and its stigs may cause irritation for several days, they are rarely fate. Treat as you would for a jellyfish.

The weaverfish  lie buried in the sand off the shores of Europe, West Africa and  the Mediterranean. Their spines a venomous. Apply very hot water to sooth spine wounds.

You can just about find stingrays inshore everywhere, but especially in warm waters, and electric rays in warm to temperate zones. Superbly camouflaged, they don't only hide in the sand, some like rocky and pebbly places. Play safe, prod the bottom with a stick as you go. Stingray wounds can be soothed with very hot water.

Moray eels may be found in shallow water. They have a savage bite and guard their holes tenaciously. Keep clear of any you see and do not put your hand into their crevices!

Giant clams on tropical reefs can be big enough to tram a limb if they snap shut on you.

You can find fish with venomous spines in very shallow waters. Most common and most dangerous, in the tropics. A few occur in the temperate waters. Bottom dwelling kinds are almost impossible to detect and are often superbly camouflaged. Zebra fish are easier to see, but equally dangerous to contact. Stone fish are very hard to see, they lay on the ocean floor and look like a rock, Step on one of them and you will definitely know it. Use a stick to stir up the sand and rocks in front of you.

Sea Snakes often occur in some numbers close in shore in the tropical pacific and Indian Oceans. They are inoffensive and bites are rare. But their venom is the most toxic of all snake venom. Keep clear of snakes in the water. Found on shore, pin them with a forked stick, they will make a good meal.

Many Corals are sharp and can easily cut you. Some, such as the fire corals, sting on contact. Always approach a reef with caution. Exploit other sites for food first. Both the reef and its inhabitants, which may include cone shells, can present danger.

Although most sharks feed mainly in deep waters, some species frequently swim in shallow waters and swim up rivers and any might come onshore looking for and easy meal. Most shark attacks on humans occur in very shallow water, So watch for them.

Reefs are often formed around tropical islands or out from the shore, making a breakwater which leaves still waters in a lagoon. Fish in the lagoon are often of the poisonous varieties. Barracuda and Red Snapper, which are edible in the open sea, should be avoided if caught in lagoons, their eating habits cause them to become toxic. Fish from the reef on the seaward side.

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Eric from Ruff Survival