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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Up From The Depths In The Middle Of The Ocean

If you were to attempt a trans-Atlantic Ocean solo swim, or serve as a pace swimmer, what might an open water swimmer face out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?

Ron Adley of Ocean Care Solutions hazards (pun intended) an educated guess based on the assumption that a swimmer begins in New York or Massachusetts and finishes in England or France.

"I am reasonably certain a swimmer could come across the Lion's Mane jellyfish, the Mauve jellyfish (Pelagia noctiluca) and various sea nettles. These all have painful, irritating but not debilitating stings unlike the Portuguese man o war.

Swimmers may also encounter the man o war if the Gulf Stream and the westerly winds will move warmer water north. Even so, I think we provide you with our Man o War Kit as a "one stop marine sting first aid kit" because of the contents and versatility of this kit.

Certainly vinegar and warm water, as long as the water is around 113°F (45°C) and you can maintain it for 12-18 minutes, is central to jellyfish sting pain relief. Typical household vinegar is labeled 5% acetic acid, but few brands are at that level. Generally, off-the-shelf vinegar runs between 3.1-4.0% acetic acid. The Ocean Care Solutions man o war kit contains a specially formulated sting relief is made with a minimum of 5% acetic acid that feels like a typical hand lotion to address sting pain relief and welting from a jellyfish envenomation. The water-tight, waterproof kit also has a saline solution to rinse the wound, a snap-activated heat bar that holds the required temperature for 20 minutes, a spray bottle of the jellyfish sting relief, tweezers, bandages, gauze, hydrocortisone cream for itch and triple antibiotic ointment. The heat breaks down the toxins.

Vinegar also works, but a very viscous product enables the acetic acid concentrate to stay where it is sprayed in order to work more effectively than using much more vinegar by volume to flush a wound

Flush, scrap and spray to avoid welts, pains and itching close to shore or way out in the Ocean Blue.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

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