Dad survives jellyfish swarm terror

A KITE-surfer from Suffolk has told how he feared he was going to die after he got trapped in a two-mile swarm of poisonous jellyfish - and was stung non-stop for more than 40 minutes.

WHEN Crispin Freeman moved his family to the Central American country of Costa Rica he knew he was taking a risk.

Giving up his job as a lawyer in London, the 42-year-old moved thousands of miles with his wife and baby daughter to start a new life.

Mr Freeman and his wife, Jo, then contended with finding snakes under their baby's play mat and scorpions in the oven, alongside caring for 14 dogs and five horses while launching their own business renting out holiday homes and selling land.

Little did they know, the most hair-raising encounter was yet to come.

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Mr Freeman, who grew up in Harkstead, near Ipswich, was stung 100 times by jellyfish after crash landing into the ocean while kite surfing.

He was saved when his horrified friends rushed him to a clinic for a life-saving antihistamine injection.

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Mr Freeman was with friends in northern Costa Rica near the Nicaraguan border when his new hobby went wrong.

He said: “I got a bit over-powered at one point and the kite was torn from my grip and crashed to the water where one of the fabric panels of the kite exploded on impact. I was probably about half a mile offshore at the time.

“As I drifted I saw what I thought was a long line of brown seaweed stretched out in front of me - it was only when I reached it that I realised it was a huge slick of stinging jellyfish.

“They are only two or three inches in diameter but have tenticles about 18 inches long which sting like an electric shock and leave a nasty rash that can last for a week or two if not treated properly.

“There were literally billions of them to the point where there were in places more jellyfish than there was water.

“It was like lying in a giant bowl of kids' jelly and being stung continually.

He added: “I began to panic. I was terrified that the stings around my neck might swell and block my wind-pipe.

“At one point I found I was thrashing and screaming in desperation.”

Eventually he drifted ashore where his horrified friends raced him to a nearby clinic for a life-saving injection.

He is now fully recovered from his ordeal which happened on May 23 and is looking forward to coming to the UK in two months to join his wife and children.

Mrs Freeman said: “This is one of the worst things that has happened to us.

“When he told me I was in tears even though by then he was out of danger.”

Mrs Freeman has written a book about their move abroad called A Friend Laughs and is currently in the UK for several months promoting it.

The couple made their big move in 2004 and have since had two more children.

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