Bull sharks and jellyfish spotted near Kenting beaches

Has anyone else heard about this? It was in the news, I guess. They are warning swimmers to be careful. Bull sharks are more likely to attack people than any other shark species.

I went to Kenting this weekend and there were people swimming as usual. I didn’t see any sharks but for the first time in my entire life, I rubbed against a jellyfish. It doesn’t feel too good. I’ve been diving for many years and I’ve spent my fare share of time in the ocean, swimming, snorkeling and diving. It never happened to me before. Call me lucky.

When the jellyfish made contact with my left bicep, it hurt immediately. It felt like an electric shock, almost. I rushed out of the water but the damage was done. It created a severe rash the size of a baseball. My arm was burning for about three hours. There are no doctors in Kenting that we know of and it was Sunday. I went to the Fu Dog surf shop instead where the owner kindly treated the affected area with vinegar. Thanks to them, I will survive. :notworthy:


jellyfish are very common in taiwan waters. Luckily none of those australian killer irikanji or whatever you call em.

What i do is that upon being stung, i take wet beach sand and rub the area, it seems to work to relieve the itch. do it immediately and the after effects seem to not be as serious. But yes serious contact takes days to go away.

they have portuguese man-o-wars that have very long tentacles that could even fall off the jellyfish but still sting you. You can get seriously stung to the point you need to be given injections much like being stung by bees. what i do is if i get a string of jellyfish that means theres a lot more in the water that day and i will just get out of the water basically.

bull sharks in kenting iv never heard of, but every now and then someone gets killed there. A few years ago a kid got eaten (never found his body apparently) by a great white they believe or some other huge shark.

they ARE out there.


bull sharks in Kending iv never heard of.[/quote]Same but according the the wiki article I posted above, Taiwan is on the fringe of their territory. They are a lot more common in other parts of the world but they are still out there. They are known to often bump into people before they bite. So if you feel something large bumping into ya, you’d better make a move for the shore ASAP. :smiley:

Despite the reputation these animals have, shark bites are extremely rare. It’s been implanted in our brains that sharks are very dangerous and it’s hard to shake it off. Well, they ARE dangerous but the odds that they will bite you are really small. It’s knowing that there is that small possibility, though, that makes it scary when you see one of them swimming toward you.

Ghosts month will be here soon, too. Angry amphibian ghosts are way more dangerous than sharks. Stay out of the water! :wink:

I love this kind of warning. If you swim in these waters, mind the bull sharks. Like, uh, what are you supposed to do, run away?

If it’s a real problem, they should just close the beaches.

[quote=“RobinTaiwan”]went to the Fu Dog surf shop instead where the owner kindly treated the affected area with vinegar.
Good choice. Never fall for the urine myth:

[quote]At best, urinating on a jellyfish sting will do nothing. Experiments indicate that in some jellyfish species, urine actually sets off the remaining stinging cells, making the sting even worse.

        The urine cure and other folk remedies miss the mark, anyway. The point of rinsing the wounded area is not to alleviate the pain. The venom’s already in you. Urinating on it will not help any more than it does to urinate on your thumb after you hit it with a hammer.

        The point of the rinse is to get rid of any remaining tentacles or other jellyfish tissue that might still harbor stinging cells, or nematocysts, which could still fire and make the sting worse. (These cells, which are all over jellyfish, contain a tiny poison dart that shoots out at a touch or because of a chemical reaction; thousands of them typically fire simultaneously.) For the aforementioned reason, urine is a terrible candidate for the job.[/quote]

Vinegar’s the way to go for jellyfish, but not the sting of a Portuguese man-of-war:

[quote] In all cases, immediately scrape off any remaining tentacles or other visible jellyfish tissue with a glove or some kind of tool—never with bare hands.

        On box jellies, you can rinse the area with vinegar. Experiments have shown that vinegar chemically deactivates the nematocysts of box jellies, disabling any remaining cells from firing into your skin.

        On Portuguese man-of-war stings, do not use vinegar; experiments show that in its species, vinegar sets off the nematocysts. Instead, just rinse the area with seawater. (Fresh water is probably OK, too, though some doctors worry it can also set off nematocysts by osmosis.)[/quote]

What little experience of sharks I’ve had has not scared me at all. But I would hesitate to be swimming in a place where bull sharks had been spotted. Them’s not very nice sharks at all. Nothing pathetic about them at all.

I’ve been stung by jellyfish and it is unpleasant.

As for fear of sharks, it might make more sense to be scared of bees, ferrets, nails and tacks, toilets or pruning hedges.

[quote]In the U.S., your chances of getting killed by lightning are 30 times greater than dying of a shark attack.

Bees, wasps, and snakes kill more people each year than sharks.

In 1996 in the U.S. there were 18 reported injuries and deaths from shark attacks, but 198,849 injuries from working with screws, nails, tacks, and bolts; 138,894 injuries from ladders; 43,687 injuries from toilets; and 36,091 injuries while pruning, trimming, or edging plants.

Between 1959 and 1990, 5,528 people were stuck by lightning in the 22 coastal states (excluding Alaska) and Puerto Rico, with 1,505 fatalities. During the same period, there were 336 shark attacks in the coastal waters of those states, with 12 fatalities.

In 1987, New York City reported the following number of people bitten by dogs: 8,064; other people, 1,587; cats, 802; rats, 291; squirrels, 95, raccoons, 11; ferrets, 7; skunk, 3. There were 13 shark injuries reported nationwide the same year[/quote]

But they don’t make scary movies about those things to play on people’s irrational fears.

Its the same with diseases. You’ll find (younger) people are more scared of obscure diseases like Japanese Encephalitis but not of the far more likely diseases such as cancer or Alzheimers.
My older brother swam past a jellyfish when he was about 7 years old, it didn’t sting him but it freaked him out for quite a few years after.

I am bee and wasp phobic by the way.

A friend of mine was swimming at Jialeshui beach near Kenting last weekend and was stung across his face, neck and torso by jellyfish. He says it felt like a violent electric shock as he ducked under a wave and he was almost unable to get back to the surface from the shock, pain and temporary paralysis. He’d choked, breathed in water and was disoriented and reckons had it not been for a fortuitous sand bank he could push off with his legs to get him back to the surface it might have ended poorly. As it is he has painful red welts across a large area of his chest, neck and side of his head. Risky business swimming with jellyfish, there must be unusually high numbers of them about recently, definitely swim with caution.

[quote]In the U.S., your chances of getting killed by lightning are 30 times greater than dying of a shark attack.

Bees, wasps, and snakes kill more people each year than sharks.
Yeah. I’m no statistician, so bear with me when I take a wild guess and predict that those odds suddenly get much shorter when you change that to: “If you go swimming in waters in which bull sharks have been recently spotted, your concerns about your chances of being hit by lightning should suddenly take very much a back seat to the more pressing risk factors.”

BastardATION! I’m going to be swimming – or maybe not, now – at Jialeshui one month from now.
Jellyfish, jellyfish,
Go away,
Don’t come back another day.

Or in fact, ever, you nasty rubbery stinging wee fuckers.
Man, this was going to be Sandy Wee’s first real experience of the ocean, too. What a bummer. :s

I’ve been planning on taking the Kitten to Kenting to see the sea, but I guess we’ll have to find some indoor water to play in.

In South Africa, as in Australia, we have an abundance of sharks off the coast. Great Whites, Bull sharks, Grey Nurse and Tiger Sharks in particular. Being the case we have shark nets at all the major swimming beaches, but shark attacks still happen fairly frequently.

Fatal Shark Attacks in South Africa 2009
Worldwide Statistics
International Shark Attack File

If they’ve really spotted Bull sharks near the Kenting beaches there is no way I’d take my boy in the water. I’d go about knee deep with him and that’s it. The water there can be pretty gloomy and if you’re too far in you wouldn’t be able to spot a shark or get away quick enough once you have.
I’d suggest swimming with the crowd, keeping a look out and not going in too deep. And remember rule no. 1. You don’t have to out swim the shark. You only need to out swim the bathers around you.

[quote=“plasmatron”]He says it felt like a violent electric shock[/quote]That’s pretty much the feeling. I was on my knees in about four feet of water when it happened to me so I jumped out of the water pretty quick.

This is two reports of the same happening in Kenting last weekend, on both the west coast and the east coast. Your friend was on the east coast and I was on the west coast. Maybe there are more of them this year or maybe it’s just a coincidence.

[quote]I’ve been planning on taking the Kitten to Kending to see the sea, but I guess we’ll have to find some indoor water to play in.[/quote]I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I think the benefits of having a nice day at the beach far outweigh the small chance of getting stung. I was back in the water two hours later. I was a bit spooked but I took my chances. :laughing: Our boy was in and out of the water all afternoon, too. Going to Kenting with our son without making a long stop at the beach seems pointless.

I’m suffering a lot more from the sunburn at the moment than I am from the sting, to tell you the truth. :wink:

I’ll be there noon tomorrow. :sunglasses:

Here’s a photo of my jellyfish sting: flickr.com/photos/maoman/2641943567/

When the typhoons start building up all the jellies will go away. The sea is actually swarming with them on really calm days, from the higher vantage point of my Stand Up Paddle Board I could see legions of them covering every foot of water as far as I could see two weeks ago in Yi Lan off the coast of Tou Cheng . It was real motivation to not fall off.

Bull sharks will bite you in waist deep water, in rivers too, they love that murky water.
I haven’t seen any yet but I’ll keep an eye out.

What’s the season for jellyfish?

Bull sharks like river mouths and areas of shallow, murky water. They can swim in fresh water and usually birth their pups upstream, where many chose to stay where prey is easy.

IF, and I mean IF, there were bull sharks in the Kenting area, the one place I wouldn’t swim would be the beach in Jialeshui. IF there were bullsharks in the area, that would be a prime spot for them to congregate. Deep river mouth, offshore reef and area to breed.

A big fucking IF at the moment.

Make no bones about it…Even up to, and during the Vietnam war era, bull sharks were regular visitors into the Tamshui river system and all up and down the west coast wherever pre-industry polluted rivers ran into the ocean.

There are the full range of sharks off the Taiwan shores, from Great whites in the winter (an 18footer was caught just outside of Nanfangao about 15 years ago) on the NE coast, to Oceanic whitetips cruising the Kurushio current, to migrating hammerheads, to reef sharks, threshers and bull sharks. Taiwan close to shore has simply fished them all out. Go to any harbor fish market though, and you’ll see the full assortment.

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At least its not one of these giant jellyfish

9news.com/news/article.aspx? … ovider=top

So far so good! The local surfers say the bull shark thing is just a media scare. They say it was ONE shark caught in a fisherman’s net miles off the west coast. :idunno: At any given moment there are surfers in the water here, so I trust their judgment. No jellyfish stings yet, but some amazing phosphorescence at night (but that might have been the beers)

Amazing waves right now. :slight_smile: