I’ve been surfing through this entire red tide experience and taking my chances… However, it might have caught up to me.
Throughout this high season, I’ve been receiving emails and photos and hearing from several community members asking about this and others claiming to have gotten sick… But unfortunately nobody seems to know why the red tide is getting worse in our area.
To be upfront about it, I’ve grown used to red tide and just kept surfing. So I 100% acknowledge I knew I might get sick, yet paddled out anyways. Surfing is my primary source of entertainment and exercise, so I decided to paddle out most every day this high season. However, my luck may have run out.
This past week or so I’ve been experiencing an array of physical issues. First a constant head throbbing about 10 days ago. I’m quite used to my head hurting from a TBI injury so I didn’t pay it too much attention. But about 7 days ago my fever spiked up significantly along with strong stomach issues.
Taking a shower itself was challenging with shivers from freezing immediately followed by profuse sweating. About 4 or 5 days ago, as my head continued to pound, the fever started to break but other symptoms came in. First were sores in my mouth then the following day hives began circulating all around my body.
Here’s another testimony sent in to me asking for anonymity, but to be published:
I have gotten poisoned by the red tide twice now. The first time while surfing, the water definitely had the red tint to where I could not see my feet hanging in the water below. But when I was wrapping up my session I found myself in a dark red patch with no visibility at all. That afternoon, my eyes, ears, and throat began itching in the worst way possible. The back of my throat was red-streaked and I was down and out for 4 days. The second time was last Wednesday, was out surfing between Bakers and Main Beach and it was not terrible at first, but then I started working my way south towards Bakers and it was significantly worse. Similar to the first time, I found myself in a dark red patch with no visibility at all. I paddled out, went straight home, showed, jumped in the pool, showered, then I used alcohol drops in my ears, and used a neti pot with iodine solution. That afternoon. same as the first time my eyes, ears, and throat began itching in the worst way possible. The back of my throat was red-streaked and I was down and out for 4 to 5 days. This time was worse as it was painful to pee.
Year-round resident surfer
**The reason this is anonymous is this resident doesn’t want businesses or locals to be angry at them for potentially hurting tourism. However, they care about safety and want people to know about their recent experiences.