A recent incident at a popular beach club resulted in a tourist being rushed to emergency at the American Hospital, when a tread into the warm Gulf waters resulted in 12 sharp spines penetrating through her skin, resulting in pain and leaving her in danger of an infection.
The incident occurred earlier this week, when a Turkish national was in the city with her group for friends on a four-day holiday. Friend and Dubai resident Hesham G told E 24|7: “My friend was here on a holiday and what better way to enjoy the weather than by spending a day at one of the best beaches in the city.”
However, things turned sour when the friend stumbled into a “nest of sea urchins five metres from the beach.” Hesham said: “She hadn’t been in the waters for more than five minutes when she came screaming out. There were 12 spine-like things sticking out of her foot.”
The hotel, which is connected to the beach club, sent across a buggy to rush the tourist to an in-house nurse, but the pain only worsened. “They were sent to a hospital while I headed to the beach to ensure the lifeguard picked out the 10-12 urchins, which would have carried up to the shore with the tide,” he said.
This is not the first incident reported of sea urchins, with regular divers reporting several instances of the prickly creatures found near the Jumeirah beach stretch. Sea urchins have also been spotted regularly on kite surfing beach, with diving experts saying that mornings is when the urchins are spotted in shallow waters, with the afternoon taking the groups of 15-30 into deeper sea.
Sea urchins are rarely considered life-threatening, albeit the sting needs to be treated immediately before an infection spreads, which can be dangerous. If stung, it’s important to get medical attention immediately and to alleviate the pain, pull out the spikes and cover the area with a towel soaked in vinegar. Soaking the area in hot water also helps.