Stingray threat: BMC asks Mumbaikars to stay alert during Ganapati visarjan

Every year, thousands of Mumbaikars throng the shores of Girgaum Chowpatty and other beaches like Dadar and Juhu to bid farewell to their beloved deity, Lord Ganesha. While the journey of the devotees has come to an end, they have another challenge to face while entering the sea

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  • The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued an alert for all the Mumbaikars.
  • Stingrays has been spotted in large numbers along the seashores in Mumbai.
  • BMC has warned devotees to be cautious while entering the water with their Ganesh idols.

Stingray might sting devotees if they accidentally step on the fish. Stingrays possess poisonous barbs, which upon contact can cause injuries while long tentacles trailing from the jellyfish body can inject venom from thousands of microscopic barbed stingers

The BMC has issued an advisory, saying people should not panic but be vigilant while entering into the water.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Padmaja Keskar, Executive Health Officer, BMC, said, “In the year 2013, around 150 people had suffered due to the stingrays’ sting. And this year too, we have received information that stingrays have been spotted on the seashore. So, we have issued an advisory for the devotees. If a devotee steps on the stingray, then he is likely to get bitten by the fish.”

Dr Keskar further said, “This is the breeding period for them and the stingrays comes to the shore. The sting pains a lot. So, we have set-up primary health centres on all the seashores where Ganapati immersion will take place. We also have security guards and the lifeguards at various places. But, we appeal to the citizens to be safe while going for the immersion.”

Dos and Don’ts

First-aid for jellyfish or stingray injuries:

  • Apply vinegar or saltwater to neutralise the pain.
  • Avoid using freshwater to ease the pain, as it will only aggravate it.
  • Tentacles of box jellyfish should be carefully plucked out from the skin.
  • If you are entering the sea for immersion.
  • Wear a thick layer of clothing to cover the entire body, and tall gum boots.
  • Ensure that no part of your lower body is directly exposed to water, to protect you from being stung.
  • Give Ganapati idol to the BMC staff for immersion.
  • Immediately reach to the primary health centre if bitten by a stingray.
  • Wear gumboots while entering into the water.
  • Clean the area with lukewarm water.