Fire Coral?

We were swimming about a mile offshore recently and started feeling little stings/pricks. They weren't that bad, maybe like an acupuncture needle. but they added up. The faster you moved in the water, the more they got you. After we got out of the water, there were small little welts (bb sized) that went away 15-20 minutes after rinsing.

Any ideas? Someone mentioned fire coral but it was on the surface of the water and wasn't as painful as fire coral seems to be.
sounds like jelly fish stingers....i was diving in the philippines back in 2005 and went thru a some area that had those type of symptoms. Small, somewhat annoying stings. Nothing major. Was told they were tiny stingers or remnants of jellyfish


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During the summer lot's of small pea sized jelly fish in the water. At Laguna shores a few years ago my kid's were playing in the water for 45 minutes before the tide receded
and were covered in small welts when they came out. Same thing at Encanto last year in mid-June.

It hasn't been a problem for us swimming in front of our place in Cholla at Pinto point, we were in the water 2 weeks ago and no stings.
I wonder if not having a sand beach nearby has something to do with it?
Interesting. And to be clear, it was from the surface to at least 6 feet deep that you'd feel the stings, but it's not like were even close to near the bottom.

Definitely couldn't see anything in the water but I know those small jellies are practically transparent.
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Aye carumba!!!
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Sea nettles. Common in summer. Very small little critters you can't even see in the water. I've swam into batches of them while snorkeling in San Carlos. I always wear a T shirt in the water for that reason. Basically, tiny jellyfish.


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Sometimes i swear that the more I see, the less I know. A few weeks ago I was in Puerto Lobos with a friend. We were late getting to a panga anchored in six feet of water on an incoming tide and needed to swim to it. We got a lot of little stings, more as we approached the boat. A local told us they were "baby" jellyfish. Internet research seemed to confirm that, and the recommended treatment for jellyfish stings is vinegar because it neutralizes the poison. But after reading Stuart's identification as sea nettles, I researched some more and read that vinegar is not advised for sea nettles. I wonder if that's accurate. Why would vinegar work for some jellyfish but not sea nettles?

My take-away here is to avoid swimming once sea nettles are determined to be present, or else swim in long-sleeved shirt and pants. (Yuck!) But I still don't know what to do if you're stung. If this happens again, I think I'll try the vinegar anyway. If that just makes it worse, I'll turn to Benadryl and then maybe tequila. I'll report the results here.

Lucky for me, my friend got it far worse than I did as he was out there longer and a little deeper.


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Probably siphonophores. When I was studying the Sea of Cortez at the U of A we learned about these first hand. They look kinda like long almost invisible string with little white cotton looking things. Currents and wind at the surface break them apart very easily so you end up with a bunch of floating individual no seeum stingers on the surface and in the water column. Feels like pin pricks when you swim into them.