jellyfishsting Swedish vacationer killed by jellyfish in Malaysia A Swedish woman vacationing with her family in Langkawi, Malaysia was killed by a jellyfish while bathing off the coast of Pantai Cenang.

Carina Löfgren was on her way back to the beach when she encountered the dangerous jellyfish just a few meters from the shore.

Carina was walking roughly one meter in front of me,” her husband Ronny Löfgren told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. “It wasn’t deep; the water barely reached my trunks. Suddenly she started screaming violently and grasp at her legs. It made us realise that it was some kind of stinging jellyfish. We tried to remove the tentacles from her. It took four to five seconds, then she collapsed.”

Carina was dragged out of the water and her brother, who used to work as an emergency first responder, administered first aid with heart compressions and mouth-to-mouth.

He administered CPR for four or five minutes”, Ronny Löfgren explained. “Then I replaced him. But I instantly felt that she was lifeless. She died in my arms.”

The ambulance reached the beach after 15 minutes. According to Ronny Löfgren they immediately understood that they could do nothing to help Carina at this point.

One of them said ‘ah, jellyfish’ and shook his head. They tried to revive her for half a minute. Then they shook their heads again.”

Box Jellyfish

Box jellyfish are a group of invertebrates belonging to the class Cubozoa. One of the most dangerous members of this group is Chironex fleckeri, also known as the Sea wasp. Chironex fleckeri is found in the oceans of Australia and southeastern Asia and an average specimen contains enough venom to kill 60 adult humans.

They can be very small and transparent which makes them difficult to spot”, says Swedish marine biologist Lars Hernroth. “Heart failure is the most common cause of death when stung by a sea wasp. In most cases, it happens extremely fast. The overall health condition of the victim will in part determine the victims’ resilience towards the venom.”

Hernroth believes it is important to ask local tourist information agencies about the jellyfish situation in the area. Some popular holiday destinations places nets in the water to catch jellyfish, but it will only work against the big ones – the small ones will slip through.

Swimmers stung by Chironex fleckeri often fail to make it back to the shore; they die from drowning or cardiac arrest within minutes. If a person does make it back he or she will be in need of immediate treatment, and even with proper treatment, fatalities are common. While administering first aid, make sure that some calls an ambulance. Chironex fleckeri antivenom does exist, but must be administered quickly. In areas where Chironex fleckeri is common, ambulances often carry antivenom – at least in developed parts of the world.