Coastal perils

The biggest risk from the sea probably comes from the stonefish. If you step on it, the danger is that its poisonous spines will go into your foot causing it to swell up. Hospital treatment is necessary and don’t wait – delay may make it much more serious. Stonefish lurk in the lagoons and are well camouflaged.  However, you shouldn’t let this stop you swimming – good tips are: wear flip flops or “reef shoes” when paddling, keep an eye on the sea floor and generally swim rather than wade.

A less serious, but common, danger is the sea urchins with their spikes – here the important thing is to remove all spines from your foot to ensure the foot doesn’t get infected.

Where there are dangerous tides and beaches are not suitable for swimming there are good warning signs, but generally, because the coral reef protects large shallow lagoons around the island, most of the sea is ideal for swimming in.

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