Bintan Sting - Indonesia's Box Jellyfish Reality
Many years ago, brief contact with an Indonesian marine biologist revealed 3 box jellyfish deaths in 4 months during 2008 - 2 on beaches in East Java near Bali, 1 on Bangka Island off Sumatra - indicating there must be a whole lot more. But it is a mystery and there is no co-ordinated response in Indonesia to the problem of box jellyfish.
Recently, it was revealed that a 6 year old boy was stung by a box jellyfish on the popular tourist island of Bintan located near Singapore. It was a terribly traumatic experience with under-prepared and ill-informed Indonesians failing to properly protect and treat the near-dead boy.
Picture the scene; a postcard setting on a perfect beach outside the 470-room Bintan Lagoon Resort where a young boy is happily playing in the water close to shore. It's a precious moment dreamed of and enjoyed by holidaying families every day. Suddenly paradise is shattered by the piercing screams of a child in serious trouble. A shocked father runs to his trembling, hysterical boy and pulls him from the water.
Thankfully the strong 6-year old does and after 4 days in hospital is released back to his exhausted but relieved parents.
If you choose to holiday in Indonesia or for that matter anywhere in South-East Asia, do not rely on anyone to provide you and your family with the right information, with adequate protection, with proper medical care and with any sense of responsibility. It's up to you, and you alone. Be prepared. Be aware. There is plenty of information in this blog about how best to look after you and your family so as to prevent and treat a box jellyfish sting.