Dangerous Sea Life in Maui

Many people visiting Maui are concerned about what dangers may lurk beneath the surface of the water.

The majority of the time, all sea life in Maui is friendly; however, you must always be careful and avoid certain creatures. The most important thing is to know that these dangers do exist even though the chance meeting one of these creatures is very slim.

Sharks do live in the waters around Maui . The majority of the sharks are white tipped reef sharks and are harmless. Once in awhile you may even get a glimpse of a hammerhead shark or a tiger shark. Honestly, there are sharks in every ocean. However, when it comes to the amount of shark attacks around Maui compared to all the people that have enjoyed watersports the percentage is very low. The sharks that have attacked around Maui have been Tiger sharks and there were few of them. The way to feel safe in the water is to know what to do if a shark swims up. You should swim away from the shark very slowly, do not splash the water. When you splash the water very fast, you are doing the exact same thing a fish does when it is in trouble. You do not want a shark to think you are a troubled fish. The type of water to avoid is dark murky water that you find near the mouth of river. Practically every shark attack has been in murky waters at dusk or dawn.

Another danger below the waters are Portuguese Man of Wars. These creatures may be related to the jellyfish but they cannot swim. They have a unique designed body with an attached sail that takes them all over the place. They are very small but pack a powerful sting. These small little sea creatures have long tentacles that follow along behind them. When something touches just one of these tentacles, hundreds of thousands of spring-loaded stingers appear. The sting can be very painful however even though it is very uncomfortable, the stings are not fatal.

If you receive sting from a Portuguese Man of War the best treatment is to first remove the tentacle, however, do not touch with your bare hand, as you will then receive stings on your hand. Remove them wearing gloves. Rinse the area with salt and fresh water. Use ice to control the pain. Other treatments that have been affective include vinegar or baking soda. If the pain persists or the stings become worse, you should visit a doctor. If you ever watched Friends, there was an episode where Monica was stung by a jellyfish and Joey helped the pain go away using his own urine. This may seem drastic, but this old folk tale has been in practice for years.

Another sea creature you do not want to step on is a sea urchin. They are pretty much like a pincushion. If you do accidentally pick one up or step on one, remove the spine with tweezers and then visit a doctor.

Coral can also be dangerous. The coral skeletons can have very sharp edges. Even a small scrap can lead to infection, since in most cases proteinaceous matter is left in the wound. Clean, disinfect, and watch for signs of infection. The coral that is common for leaving behind matter is thin coral, which is not seen in Maui . However, you should still be careful when swimming or scuba diving around coral reefs.

Sea Anemones are also related to the jellyfish. These creatures attach themselves to coral or rocks and once again have a powerful sting. The same type of treatment should be given with a sea anemone sting as that of a Man of War or jellyfish.

Remember, to always respect the water and pay attention. As long as you remember this rule, you will be safe and enjoy a wonderful time in the waters around Maui without any worries.

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