A 60-year-old British tourist was found dead in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is the third fatality in the popular natural tourist attraction in just three days. Are the bizarre simultaneous deaths cause by one of the world’s most poisonous jellyfish?
British Tourist Found Dead on the Sea Floor
On Friday, a 60-year-old British tourist was found dead during a tandem scuba dive at Agincourt Reef, 100km north of Cairns, at 1pm. The still-unnamed victim was found on the sea floor about 15 m deep with his regulator off his mouth.
He was immediately brought to their Silversonic tour vessel as a nurse from the Quicksilver Cruises performed a CPR to revive him in vain.
A doctor, later sent through a helicopter, arrived in the Quicksilver helipad at Agincourt Reef to resuscitate the British tourist but “after extended effort with no response,” he was declared dead according to Col Mackenzie of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators.
The British tourist was a certified diver and it was his second dive during the holiday tour with his wife. A spokeswoman from Quicksilver Cruises told The Telegraph they do not know the cause of death yet.
Two French Tourists Also Died Minutes Apart
In only two days prior, two French tourists were also found dead as they were snorkelling off their boat in Michaelmas Cay near Cairns on Wednesday. Jacques Goron, 76, and Danielle Franck, 74, died simultaneously, only minutes apart from each other, of heart attacks as both of them had preexisiting medical conditions.
However, it is still a bizarre occurrence to have two people die simultaneously on the same tour due to underlying health conditions. Following the British tourist’s death, three people have now died in the Great Barrier Reef in only a span of three days.
Is it just an unusual coincidence?
Jellyfish Sting Cause of Deaths?
Dr. Ross Walker, an Australian cardiologist, speculates that the tourist may have been stung by one of the world’s most venomous creatures, the Irukandji jellyfish. The tiny and transparent creature can be found in the northern part of Australia.
Victims usually do not notice that they have been stung by the jellyfish until they suffer from cardiac arrest within half an hour.
An expert on jellyfish, Petter Fenner, also agrees on the probability. He said that the sting can create “very high blood pressure” and then damage the heart and arteries.
However, the dive operators insisted that it is not caused by jellyfishes as the Irukandji jellyfish cannot be found in the area during this time of the year, according to Alan Wallish from the Passion of Paradise boat where the French tourists died. Additionally, he said the woman had a “full stinger suit on” so it would not be possible for her to be stung.
Whether or not the tourists’ death were caused by a stung from the world’s smallest box jellyfish or a case of underlying medical conditions, the tragedy that left a British tourist and two French tourists dead in the Great Barrier Reef is without a doubt a bizarre phenomenon.
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