2005-08-08

Life, Death and 'Flip Flops'

Your 'Flip Flops' Can save Your LifeFlip Flops can save your life Holiday-makers should wear 'flip-flops' on sandy beaches to protect them from an explosion in the numbers of a poisonous fish in Scotland, marine biologists warned last night (2005-08-05). Lesser Weever Fish'The Lesser Weever Fish', which inflicts an 'excruciating' wound from poisonous barbs on its back, has amazed scientists by increasing its population by four-fold in the last year. The native species, which grows to 150_mm, lies buried in wet sand at low tide or shallow water. If it is stood on, it causes the person's foot to turn red and swell and is painful for up to two weeks. Scientists now fear the surge in numbers of the species in Scotland's waters could lead to more beach-goers being stung if they fail to take precautions. Curator of Fishes at 'The National Museum of Scotland' Mr.Geoff Swinney, said the dangers had to be brought to people's attention so they could treat the sting in the correct way.
'People ought to be alerted about the dangerous species along our shoreline of which "The Weever Fish" is one,' he said. 'This fish gives an extremely painful sting. If someone is stung by one they should not pour vinegar on it -- like you do for a jellyfish sting -- but instead they should allow the wound to bleed to wash the poison out. 'They should also put their foot into as hot water as they can stand without scalding themselves as this breaks down the proteins in the poison and stops it from working. They should then seek medical attention. 'People can die if they go into anaphylactic shock after being stung by "The Weever Fish" so people should take precautions and not paddle barefoot.'
Greater Weever FishHe added that fishermen should also beware of grabbing fish from nets because 'The Greater Weever Fish' -- found in deeper Scottish waters -- would inject venom into their hands from the barbs on their backs. 'The Lesser Weever' lives on shrimps, and comes inshore to feed during the summer months. Poisonous Dorsal of Weever FishThey are a golden-brown colour with a silvery underbelly and have sharp black fins which are filled with venom. Shore Ecologist at 'The Association For Marine Science' near Oban, Mr.Mike Burrows, said 'The Weever Fish' had been thriving this year.
'They have been very successful this summer. Our teams during sampling along the shore have been finding about three or four times more "Weever Fish" in their nets than ever before. 'This is good news for the species -- but bad news for paddlers; the spike on its back produces a very painful sting far worse than a bee sting, so I would advise people to wear "flip flops". 'If a "Weever Fish" is disturbed by someone walking about near them they will erect their spines.'
Marine Biologist at 'Deep Sea World' in South Queensferry, Mr.Chris Rowe, said people can easily stand on them because they bury into the sand.
'I have heard of people standing on them -- and it isn't pleasant, so I would definitely recommend wearing "flip-flops". 'A lot of people don't know about them so they don't know to put their foot into hot water for at least thirty minutes if they are stung by a "Weever Fish". 'A sudden "explosion" of a species like this indicates an imbalance in the food web, and if it continues, it would be a worry. 'It is also "bad news" as far as playing on the beach is concerned.'
'Paddlers in peril as poisonous weever fish hit the beach', Angie Brown, The Scotsman, 2005-08-06 Sa Warning: Your 'Flip Flops' Could Kill You Wearing trendy 'flip flops' could kill you, according to new research. The fashionable footwear -- ideal for the beach in hot weather -- are putting the lives of road users at ris; three in every four motorists have admitted they find it hard to drive in 'flip flops', and road safety experts have warned that wearing the sandals in the car could be a lethal decision. Flip Flops Can Kill YouResearchers claim a 'flip flop', worn by millions, can easily get stuck under the pedals and cause a fatal accident, 'The Sun Newspaper' says. Mr.Craig Martin, spokesman for 'Norwich Union' who carried out the poll, told the newspaper:
'Footwear such as "flip flops" are dangerous, as the sole can get caught under a pedal. 'The absence of ankle support can lead to the foot slipping off the pedal altogether.'
Ms.Leigh Purves, gossip columnist for 'The Daily Star', is among those to have had a close call while driving with designer flip flops. She has told how, while travelling on the M1 motorway, her sandal got stuck under the brake pedal and she missed another car 'by millimetres'. 'The Sun Newspaper' also says that German researchers revealed last year (2004) that 14 out of 25 pairs of flip flops they studied contained toxic chemicals known to lower sperm count in men and attack the liver, kidneys and reproductive organs.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

flippin' 'eck!

8/08/2005 11:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very funny Dave! the answer is clear: do not go near the beach, do not wear flipflops and do not drive. In fact do not even go outside. It's way too dangerous! Stay in and Blog!

8/09/2005 12:12:00 am  

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