Dr. Angel Yanagihara, Head of the Jellyfish Safety Team
615pm September 1, 2013, Swim Time: 33:15
On Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013 (33 hours into the swim) shortly before sunset of what could be the last full night of Diana Nyad’s epic crossing of the Florida Straits swimming from Cuba to Florida:
During the 6 p.m. feeding, Dr. Angel Yanagihara, leader of the Nyad’s Jellyfish Safety team, entered the water to apply “sting-stopper” to the swimmer’s face (see video). Later, Dr. Yanagihara, explained the background of this preventive measure (and creamy remedy) that Nyad’s team hopes will prevent the deadly box jellyfish or any such stings from thwarting Diana Nyad’s #XtremeDream ever again.
The sting-stopper is an inhibitor mixture that I invented. I am a professor at the University of Hawaii and so this technology has been licensed through the University of Hawaii to a company. But I have provided this technology in advance of being available in the commercial marketplace–to the University of Miami, and those physicians are here on board, so in consultation with University of Miami physicians we have determined that this is an effective thing for us to apply.
We have determined that this is an effective treatment.
I developed it with Diana Nyad and her team and other swimmers who have been interested in the technology, and weíve now formulated it into this anhydrous lanolin base which is very stable in the marine environment, so that an ocean swimmer can swim for up to 90 minutes in the water. It has loads of this inhibitor that prevents the tentacles from discharging as well treating any potential stings.
So what we’ve opted to do tonight rather than that full-face prosthetic silicone mask which she was having a little trouble with (with mouth sores I think) we’ve opted to start out in a conservative fashion with just the sting-stopper on all the exposed surfaces of her face.
We’ve got two divers in the water eyes-on. I’m going to be in and out of the water all night long. If we see any boxies [box jellyfish] then immediately we switch back to the original plan with the full silicone face shield.
We’re going to be re-applying it at each feed all through the night.
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