OVERVIEW OF MARINE HAZARDS There are a number of hazardous creatures in the sea. Many can cause serious harm to unaware or inattentive divers. Some may even cause death, although this often depends on the amount of venom used, individual reactions, nature of injury and location of accidents (deep water victims often drown). This presentation will provide some basic first aid tips, although by far the best policy is not to meddle with these creatures There are four major types of injury patterns from marine life. contact irritants ingested toxins injected toxins predators • Sea anemone • Sea cucumber • Stinging corals • Crown-of-Thorns starfish • Hydroids • Box jellies • Sea urchins • Shellfish- dinoflagellates (PSP) • Scomboid- fish left a room temp., bacterial breakdown of tissue • Tetradoxin- pufferfish, blue-ringed octopus • Ciguatera- dinoflagellate • Cone shells • Blue ringed octopus • Venomous fish: Stonefish Scorpion fish Sting rays • Sea snake • Barracuda • Moray eel • Grouper • Sharks: Bull shark Tiger shark Great white Galapagos shark Mako COMMON HABITAT: All Hawaiian waters from tide pools to deep offshore waters. Anemone PREVENTION:Avoid direct contact with skin. While tide pooling use footwear and don't put fingers/hands into holes and crevices. INJURY MECHANISM: Tentacles have stinging cells that are used for catching prey. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Burning and itching sensation, redness and swelling where contact was made. Severe Reaction: may include shortness of breath; loss of consciousness. FIRST AID TREATMENT: Rinse thoroughly with fresh or salt water. Apply ice for pain. IMMEDIATE medical attention may be required for severe reactions. Barracuda Open waters/bay areas in the COMMON HABITAT shadows, under floating objects. Don't wear shiny objects. They are PREVENTION attracted to reflective things that look like dinner. Sharp jagged teeth with strong INJURY MECHANISM tearing jaws. Slashed and jagged tears in your SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS skin. Stop bleeding with pressure. Get FIRST AID TREATMENT medical help. Cone Shell Tide pools, sandy areas, shallow to COMMON HABITAT deep offshore waters. Do not handle (even with gloves), PREVENTION especially near tip. Poisonous, dart-like mechanism INJURY MECHANISM near tip used for stunning and killing fish and invertebrates. Stinging, burning pain, numbness, SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS coma or cardiac arrest. Scrub the wound. Get medical FIRST AID TREATMENT help for severe reactions. Stinging limu COMMON HABITAT shallow to deep offshore waters. PREVENTION Do not handle INJURY MECHANISM Stinging cells SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS persistent itching or skin rash Wash skin with soap & water, use FIRST AID TREATMENT rubbing alcohol, hydrocortisone, Benadryl Coral COMMON HABITAT All depths. Protect feet while tide pooling or reef PREVENTION walking. Don't touch coral. Stay out of rough shallow waters. Sharp edges cause abrasions and INJURY MECHANISM lacerations. Bleeding, torn skin causing irritation, SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS mild swelling. Stop any bleeding with pressure, clean thoroughly with soap and water. Get FIRST AID TREATMENT medical help for deep cuts and embedded pieces. Box Jellyfish COMMON HABITAT: Very common in all water bodies. Box jellyfish regularly swarm to Hawaii's Leeward shores 9 to 10 days after the full moon. Carybdea alata cause the most "trouble" for humans in Hawai`i. PREVENTION: Don't go into areas where sighted, or if dead ones are seen on the beach. Observe posted signs. INJURY MECHANISM: Stinging tentacles. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Stinging, burning, redness, swelling of lymph nodes. Severe reaction: difficulty with breathing and cardiac arrest. Occasional long welt lines. FIRST AID TREATMENT: Douse with vinegar. Apply ice for pain. IMMEDIATE medical attention may be required for severe reactions. Moray eel Rocky areas, in holes, under COMMON HABITAT rocks, crevices and tide pool ledges. Keep hands out of rocky areas, holes and crevices. Use stick to PREVENTION probe. Dead fish, blood or bait will bring them out of their holes. INJURY MECHANISM Razor sharp teeth, powerful jaws. Bleeding, severe muscle SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS damage, but more commonly tendon and nerve damage. Stop bleeding with pressure, FIRST AID TREATMENT clean thoroughly. Get medical help (guard against infection). Needle fish Near surface in bay areas and open COMMON HABITAT waters. PREVENTION Use caution when night lighting/fishing. INJURY MECHANISM Long pointed jaw. Pointed jaw may puncture and break off SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS leaving a puncture wound. If point doesn't break off, clean with antiseptic if stabbed. If point breaks off do FIRST AID TREATMENT not remove it. Stop any bleeding with pressure. Get medical help immediately! Portuguese Man-O-War Jellyfish Open ocean. Bays and beaches during strong COMMON HABITAT onshore winds. Avoid areas where they frequent. Usually PREVENTION found when winds blow in from the ocean onto land. Observe posted signs. INJURY MECHANISM Long blue, threadlike tentacles. Stinging, burning, redness, swelling of lymph SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS nodes. Severe reaction: difficulty with breathing and cardiac arrest. Long welt lines. Pick off any visible tentacles. Rinse with fresh or salt water. Apply ice for pain. IMMEDIATE FIRST AID TREATMENT medical attention may be required for severe reactions. Scorpion Fish COMMON HABITAT Protected ledges, rocky areas, and shallow inshore areas. Do not handle. Keep out of crevices PREVENTION and places into which you can't see. INJURY MECHANISM Toxic dorsal, pelvic, and anal spines. Punctured skin, extreme pain, throbbing for hours. Sometimes SIGNS AND convulsions and cardiac arrest; but SYMPTOMS rarely, in Hawai`i, such very serious reactions. Immerse in hot water to tolerance. FIRST AID Get medical help for serious TREATMENT reactions or for infection. Yellow Bellied Sea Snake Seldom found in Hawaiian waters. COMMON HABITAT If sighted stay clear, leave the PREVENTION area. Report to the Waikiki Aquarium INJURY MECHANISM Venom through fangs. Paralysis, severe pain, cardiac SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS arrest. Keep the victim calm and warm. Transport to a medical facility or FIRST AID TREATMENT call 911 for an ambulance, IMMEDIATELY. Sea Urchin Shallow reef areas to 100 foot COMMON HABITAT depths. Wear foot protection. Don't walk PREVENTION on rocky areas with poor visibility. Do not handle! INJURY MECHANISM Long, extremely brittle spines. Throbbing pain. Purplish SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS discoloration. Pull out protruding spines. If spines(s) is/are in a joint, FIRST AID TREATMENT nerve, or when wound is infected - get medical help. Sharks COMMON Shallow inshore waters to open HABITAT ocean. Avoid murky waters. Leave water if sighted, if you have an open cut PREVENTION or are pulling a string of speared fish. Try not to look like food. Jaws and rows of razor sharp INJURY MECHANISM teeth. Abrasions from sandpaper- like skin. Severe bleeding, injury to or SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS excision of muscle, bone and appendages. Control bleeding with pressure. Transport to medical facility or FIRST AID TREATMENT call 911 for an ambulance for severe shark attack bites. Stingray COMMON HABITAT Shallow, sandy areas to deep oceans. Shuffle feet when walking in shallow PREVENTION inshore waters. Stay clear of disturbed (swimming) ray. Do Not Molest! Tail with poisonous barb near base of INJURY MECHANISM body. Lacerations and severe pain. Punctures in SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS abdomen or chest are very serious - a medical emergency. Stop any bleeding, clean thoroughly with mild soap and water. Immerse in hot water to tolerance for pain. Get medical FIRST AID TREATMENT treatment for deep cuts and embedded barb pieces. Do not try to remove pieces yourself - get medical help. Surgeonfish COMMON HABITAT Wave zone to 150 foot depths. PREVENTION Take care in handling. Spine and knife-like razors near INJURY MECHANISM tail. Throbbing pain, itching, bleeding SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS and numbness. Stop bleeding with pressure, clean thoroughly with soap and water. Get medical treatment for deep FIRST AID TREATMENT cuts and embedded spine pieces. Do not try to remove pieces yourself. Tube Worm COMMON HABITAT Shallow reef areas. Use protective footwear and PREVENTION gloves. Hardened, razor sharp opening to INJURY MECHANISM worm's shelter. Circular cut with fragments that SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS may be embedded. Bleeding. Stop bleeding with pressure, clean thoroughly with soap and water. Get medical treatment for deep FIRST AID TREATMENT cuts and embedded pieces. Do not try to remove pieces yourself. Box jellyfish have been known to kill people within three minutes, blue-ringed octopus in 30 minutes and pufferfish (eaten) in 17 minutes. You are more likely to die from a box jellyfish sting than a shark attack. Reef sharks are not normally aggressive to humans but should be treated with respect. Do not carry bleeding fish and avoid swimming after dark.