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A British tourist died this week on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This is the third incident of this type in the last week.

The 60-year old Englishman was exploring the Reef and was found unconscious on the sea floor by fellow divers. The man was diving from the boat, Silver Sonic, off the coast of Port Douglas, 1,700 km north of Queensland’s capital of Brisbane.

“They brought him back to the surface, got him on board the boat, where they administered the oxygen and used a defibrillator,” Col McKenzie, executive director of the Association of Marine Park Tourism said. “They called in to emergency services, a doctor was flown out to the Agincourt helicopter pad, and the doctor took part in that resuscitation event, but again, unsuccessful.”

On Wednesday, two French tourists in their mid-70’s suffered heart attacks and died, while snorkelling on the reef at Michaelmas Cay, 55 km south-east off the coast of Port Douglas.

A cardiologist said, the French tourists were likely stung by Irukandji jellyfish, a jellyfish the size of a fingernail, that is one of the most venomous creatures in the world.

Bearing in mind that there are Irukandji jellyfish floating about in the waters in and around the Great Barrier Reef, should we be swimming with them? There is always an small risk from marine life when swimming in the sea on coral reef. On the Great Barrier Reef the risk is low but the consequences can be fatal. The last time I went to the Great Barrier reef I did not swim or snorkel for this very reason. Perhaps I am paranoid, but why take the risk?

You will find me lounging by the pool!

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