Bathers warned against swimming on southern islands

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Tourists have been warned not to venture into the sea at and around Koh Phi-Phi, Koh Mai Pai and Koh Poda islands after Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish-like creatures were spotted in the sea.

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The warning was issued on Monday by Sarayuth Tanthien, chief of Nopparat Thara- Phi Phi islands national marine park, to tour operators and tourists visiting the islands.  He said visitors should not swim or engage in any activities in the sea off the islands because of the dangers posed by the poisonous creatures whose stings may cause sudden death.

The warning also advised victims not to use vinegar or fresh water to wash the sting wounds but to use a lot of sea water instead and then have the victims quickly rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment.

Earlier on September 23, the Sirinart national park in Phuket issued similar warning for tourists to avoid swimming or performing any activities in the sea off Nai Thon, Layan and Nai Yang beaches after Portuguese man-of-war were sighted in the sea.

Park officials scoured the Nai Yang beach on Monday but did not find any traces of the dangerous creatures.  Some Portuguese man-of-war were however found washed ashore at Mai Khao beach and a warning sign was immediately put up on the beach.