Take caution as poisonous sea snakes are common in UAE's beaches from November until February
27 October 2020| Last updated on 20 November 2020
They are mostly reluctant to bite, but these poisonous creatures are best left alone
This week, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi distributed a cautionary notice about poisonous sea snakes swimming in the emirate's shallow coastal waters.
Beachgoers in the capital are advised to keep an eye out for snakes as the UAE's temperatures go down, because these reptiles are commonly found during the winter season.
Residents and visitors must stay away from any sea snakes found on shore and avoid handling them even if the creature looks slow, injured or dead, as their bites require emergency help and can even be fatal.
The UAE is home to around five to six of the world's 70 known species of sea snakes. All sea snakes are poisonous but are usually shy and will only bite in self-defense.
Sightings of sea snakes in the country's shallow waters are more frequent from November to February as they naturally prefer cooler temperatures. During this period, sea snakes can be found feeding on smaller fish and mating.
Pictured: Yellow-bellied snake
The notice was released as UAE residents prepare for a three-day weekend to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Mohammed's (PBUH) birthday on Thursday October 29.
Common sea snakes you might spot in the UAE are the Yellow-bellied sea snake, Arabian Gulf sea snake and the Ornate reef sea snake.
What happens if I get bit?
Sea snakes are typically mild tempered, shy to approach swimmers, and will not bite unless they are scared or feel threatened.
They very rarely release their poisonous venom in a bite, but when it happens, it can damage a person's nervous system and interrupt blood from clotting properly.
Once the poison enters the body, it can also cause vomiting, dizziness, nausea, numbness, and thickening of the tongue. On rare occasions, it can lead to death.
Immediate medical attention is required if someone gets bitten. If a bite happens, they must go to a hospital as soon as possible.