Look out Poms, Portuguese man-of-wars at Perranporth.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

From the BBC: Warm water and storms have seen large numbers of potentially fatal Portuguese man-of-war washing up on a Cornish beach, prompting its closure. RNLI lifeguards erected do not swim red flags at Perranporth because of the "unusually large number" of the creatures.

The jellyfish-like organisms, which have long purple tentacles, have also been seen in Wales this month, says the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

The MCS are asking people to report any sightings which are expected to rise as man-of-war are driven across the Atlantic by recent storms. And with the mild sea temperatures of 16C there were fears of swimmers being stung.

Man-of-war were also spotted at Newgale, Pembrokeshire, on 8 September and the next day on beaches near the holiday destination of Newquay.

They have also been seen at Porthmelon Beach on the Isles of Scilly and on the Cornish beaches of Portheras Cove and Summerleaze, Widemouth, Perranporth, Hayle, Holywell Bay and Praa Sands.

Six were also reported at Gwithian.

Dr Peter Richardson from the MCS said a man-of-war's tentacles, which are usually about 10m (30ft) long, "deliver an agonising and potentially lethal sting. They are very pretty and look like partially deflated balloons with ribbons but picking one up could be very nasty," he said.

The man-of-war retain their sting when they are wet, even if they look dead, he warned. He advised anyone who was stung to get the tentacles away from the body as soon as possible.



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