jeffjkkraemer wrote:I have a minor in marine bio and a extremely severe sting by a man-o-war can kill someone.
If you live in latitudes frequented by Portuguese man-of-war, being hit by them can be fairly common. I have been hit many many times, more than I can count over the decades. By far most have been minor.
One of the more memorable ones include something that happened to a friend in high school. We were free diving, swimming along underwater when he picked up some tentacles across his upper lip while about 7 ft. below the surface. Man he moved fast, towing the portuguese man-of-war lip first, the nemantocysts can anchor the tentacles to you.
There have been fatalites as a result of Portuguese man-of-war hits. One is briefly described in Hawaii in the following writeup. The article contains a GREAT deal of info on Portuguese man-of-war including first aid.
The following is out of Oz and considers jellyfish envenomation fatalities world wide.
http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/dec ... enner.html
In short, yes there have been Portuguese man-of-war, Physalia sp. related fatalities. They never talked about it in my Marine Bio. program but I seem to recall some early Navy fatality(ies?) involving very large Physalia and massive dosing on the heart area from my first diving course.
So, in short Portuguese man-o-war impacts are common in parts of the world. Fatalities exist but seem to be fairly rare. Kite line amputated toes appear to be even more rare. This is the first one that I have heard about althought there may have been others.