Tourist Deaths in the Great Barrier Reef
Passions of Paradise, a tour company based out of Cairns Australia, has unfortunately seen two of its passengers die from heart attacks while visiting the Great Barrier Reef.
Although both French tourists were in their seventies along with having pre-existing medical conditions, some believe this is too much of a coincidence to have both be stricken with attacks simultaneously. The culprit may be the extremely dangerous Irukandji jellyfish. One of the world’s most venomous creatures, the Irukandji delivers a bite that makes a cobra bite seem like a mosquito bite.
Known as Irukandji Syndrome, the effects of a sting are severe. Muscle cramps, vomiting, pain, and increased heart rate just some of the horrible after effects. Vinegar can be used on a sting but only helps neutralize venom not already in the bloodstream of the patient and although death may not result from a single sting, the victim may be left with weeks of agony.
It is not confirmed if the Irukandji is in fact the cause of the tourist deaths but it is a reminder that although the Great Barrier Reef is a beautiful wonder of the world, there are many dangers to be aware of. Along with the Irukandji, there are blue ringed octopus, box jellyfish stone fish, lion fish, cone shells, and sting rays which of course was responsible for Steve Irwin’s death.
One must always read up on the dangers when visiting a new place especially when you enter an unfamiliar habitat such as the ocean. Facebook and instagram show the beautiful pictures of a destination but not always the dangers and darker side.
The tour company has been operating for over 25 years delivering nearly a half million people to the reef. It goes to show one that even under the care and watch of a highly respected tour company you must always realize that mother nature is always in charge and does not care if you’re a tourist.
Box Jellyfish photo by: Gautsch