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Identify Fire Coral Stings
The fire coral above appears to be a form of encrusting fire coral which has enveloped a gorgonian. All forms of fire coral cause a itchy rash or blister.
Photo by Aurora Forteza
Fire coral cuts appear as rashes or red welts, and are extremely painful. Fire coral stings may be difficult to diagnose because they do not begin to burn until 5 to 30 minutes after contact and, at first, the diver may not realize that he has been stung. Because of the delayed reaction time, the diver may not realize what caused the injury. Marine life injuries require a variety of treatments. When possible, divers should consult a doctor familiar with dive medicine to positively identify an injury as a fire coral sting.