Trouble in Paradise: “Best Job” Winner Stung by Dangerous Jellyfish

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Tuesday, Dec 29, 2009  |  Updated 11:00 PM PDT
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Ben Southall was stung by a jellyfish.

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Even those with the “best jobs in the world” have bad days at work.

A British man who bested nearly 35,000 applicants in an online contest to win a $120,000 “dream job” as caretaker of a tropical Australian island was stung by a potentially deadly jellyfish earlier this week, The Associated Press reported.

Ben Southall wrote on a blog he maintains for tourists that he was lucky to be alive after his encounter with a venomous Irukandji jellyfish on the final week on his six-month job assignment on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef.

"I’ve avoided being boxed by a kangaroo, nibbled by a shark and bitten by a spider or a snake – but then in my final few days on Hamilton Island I fell foul of a miniscule little creature known as an Irukandji," Southall wrote.

When dismounting his Jet Ski in the ocean, the former charity worker noticed a sting on his arm. He soon developed a fever, headache, lower back pain, chest tightness and high blood pressure according to the AP.

"This was not what I'd wanted at all and had caught me little off guard to say the least – I'm supposed to be relaxing in my last few days on Hamilton Island," Southall wrote.

The peanut-sized jellyfish is nearly impossible to spot and was responsible for killing two tourists in northeast Australian in 2002, the AP reported.

Southall was taken to the doctor and recovered from the venom’s effects the next day.

"I really should have been wearing a full stinger suit, as it recommended at all beaches here at this time of year," he wrote.
 

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