Jellyfish Season in Oman

Swimmers, divers and casual beach goers are advised to watch out for jellyfish when they venture into the sea.

As the temperature rises and the water along Oman’s coastline gets warmer, Jellyfish numbers increase. See the prolonged onshore winds drive the jellyfish shore wards. Some sting but many don't.

These passed few year though, there has been sightings of the more dangerous verity. They are rare, but do occur here in Oman primarily between the months of March to June, and people have been stung on a few occasions. These jellyfish could cause more serious public health problems and are worth keeping an eye out for.


Crambionella Orsini

A reddish white jellyfish known by locals as Doll Jellyfish are especially abundant. Especially seen in the Daymaniyat islands and Al Fahal Islands. Luckily they are non toxic. Though not harmful, an exposure to these jellyfish can lead to skin irritation and redness.

 


Box Jellyfish

This venomous jellyfish looks like a plastic bag with four two-meter long tentacles that are extremely stinging. It is at its most dangerous when it is hunting, as they can stretch their tentacles for a wider reach. They are painful and may cause low blood pressure or difficulty in breathing.

 

 


Bluebottle Jellyfish (Man O’ War)

These highly venomous jellyfish have been found in the waters between Al Mughassil Beach in Salalah and Taqah Beach. They float on the surface with a bubble of air in them, and their tentacles can be tens of meters long. As a swimmer, you get entangled in the tentacles before you actually see the animal because they can be five or six meters away, and due to their colour it's practically transparent in water. These beautiful but deadly jellyfish have been known to cause deaths, so seek immediate medical care.

 


Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of jellyfish stings include:

  • Burning, prickling, stinging pain
  • Red, brown or purplish tracks on the skin — a "print" of the tentacles' contact with your skin
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Throbbing pain that radiates up a leg or an arm

Severe jellyfish stings can affect multiple body systems. These reactions may appear rapidly or several hours after the stings. Signs and symptoms of severe jellyfish stings include:

  • Stomach pain, nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Weakness, drowsiness, fainting and confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart problems

Getting someone out of the water quickly that has been stung by one is very important. People can suffer shock and fear and are not able to get out on their own.

How to treat a jellyfish sting:

  1. Remove the victim from the water. If the species is identified as a particularly dangerous one, like the ones mentioned above, alert the emergency services.
  2. Wash with vinegar to neutralise the stinging cells. Do NOT rinse with fresh water or urine and avoid rubbing the affected area as this will trigger the stinging cells to release their venom and intensify the pain.
  3. Keep the victim still and avoid elevating the affected area to avoid toxins spreading through the body.
  4. Remove any visible tentacles using sterile tweezers, forceps or gloves and rinse area thoroughly with salt water to wash away any remaining nematocysts (stinging cells).
  5. Immerse the affected area in hot water or apply a heat pack (approximately 45°C) to reduce the pain. Some physicians may also recommend painkillers, anti-inflammatory or topical anesthetic may also be used.

 

Call these numbers in case of emergency while in Oman

Emergency call to Royal Oman Police – 9999

Ambulance services – 9999


When to Buy My First Scuba Gear

 

You have just completed your open water course and now you are a certified diver. For a new diver, buying scuba gear is the final step, but if you're newly certified, how are you supposed to know what scuba gear to buy? Fear not! We’re here to help.

At the start you will want to buy scuba gear that is cheap, easy to pack and makes a big difference to your dive (rental gear my not fit properly). These are the basics, and as you continue diving you can then invest in other equipment that make your dive more comfortable.

The Basics

Scuba Mask

A perfect fitting mask makes all the difference to your diving experience. Additionally its small and lightweight and easy to pack

To test for a good watertight fitting mask:

  1. Look up at the ceiling and place the mask on your face without using the strap. It should rest evenly with no gaps.
  2. Look forward. Place the mask on your face without using the strap and gently inhale through your nose. The mask should seal easily on your face.
  3. Adjust the strap and put it on your face. Make sure the nose pocket doesn't touch your nose and that the skirt feels comfortable on your upper lip.

 

Fins

The experience of diving is so much more enjoyable when you can move effortlessly through the water. The right pair of fins helps you move through the water with more speed and agility than you would otherwise have managed.

Not to mention, fins are considered more affordable compared to other scuba gears such as regulators and BCDs, making it a great purchase for new divers.

When picking your fins look for a snug fit that doesn't pinch your toes or bind the arches of your feet. If you can't wiggle your toes, the fins are too small.

Wetsuit

When it comes to diving and maintaining a comfortable temperature under the water for long periods of time, you’re going to want a dependable wetsuit. Typically made from neoprene rubber, wetsuits are effective at locking a thin layer of water alongside your skin, which acts as padding and maintains a comfortable body temperature while you explore under the water.

Wetsuits suits should fit snugly without restricting movement or breathing. Insure that the suit is not too loose, however. Gaps at the arm, leg, crotch and neck allow water to circulate and defeat the suit's ability to prevent heat loss.

The Comfort Set

BCD

The Buoyancy control device holds your gear in place, lets you carry a tank with minimal effort, floats you at the surface and allows you to achieve neutral buoyancy at any depth. Before you try on BCDs, slip into the exposure suit you'll wear most often. Look for a BCD that fits snugly but doesn't squeeze you when inflated.

Dive Computer

Some of the most essential pieces of dive equipment are a depth gauge, submersible pressure gauge, and a compass. Dive computers are great tools since they combine all 3.

Regulators

A regulator converts the high-pressure air in your tank to ambient pressure so you can breathe it. A regulator must also deliver air to other places, such as your BC inflator and alternate second stage.

When purchasing a regulator look for a comfortable mouthpiece and select hoses of the right length for you.

 

A regulator with a comfortable mouth piece minimises a clenched jaw