Largest European open-water event: participants massively injured by jellyfish

(Press releae Monte Cristo Challenge)

Big fish, swans, maybe even rats; quite a few triathletes fear them or at least think about them during their swim training or – with a bit of bad luck – during a race. When you swim in the sea, you can also add jellyfish to that list. A large group of participants in a swimming competition in the south of France, at least, can speak about that.

During the Monto Cristo Challenge, a 5-kilometer swimming competition in which participants swim from a fortress island to the port of Marseille, dozens of swimmers were injured when they swam through a school of jellyfish. Hundreds of participants took off in Europe’s largest open-water event, and after only five minutes the first participants started screaming that they had been stung. In total, about 50 participants were stung – through their wetsuits – and they were taken out of the water with burns all over their body.

Most participants could be treated with shaving cream, a remedy that often provides a good solution. For two participants this proved too little; they were transported to the hospital and treated there.