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Tropical areas are sheltered by the reef, so do not tend to get the same level of dangerous surf as other parts of the coast, or as many coastal shark, however there are still things that sting and bite. There is usally signage if there is a known danger but in general it is good to know the following:
Beaches - in summer months dangerous jellyfish ("stingers") can be found at many tropical beaches. Swim at patrolled beaches inside the "stinger net". If you, or anyone else is stung, firts aid includes rinsing the tentacle off the body and dousing the area in vinegar ( found in boxes along the beach) or with urine if required.
Estuaries, rivers, mangorves - always ask a local if the area is safe from crocodiles before going near the water.