Jump to content

Deadly Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish invade British beaches


Recommended Posts

Deadly Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish invade British beaches


By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 10:32 AM on 29th July 2009




Deadly Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish have invaded British beaches – and more are expected to arrive, it emerged today.

At least eight of the creatures, which can deliver a potentially lethal sting, were found on Tregantle beach in Cornwall.

Another two were spotted in estuary sands between Bantham and Bigbury in Devon, prompting authorities to warn bathers to be vigilant.



article-0-05E0D517000005DC-658_634x409.jpg Dangerous: The sail-like body of a Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish washed up at Tregantle Beach in Cornwall


It is thought the deadly animals, which have a distinctive body that is said to resemble a 16th Century Portuguese warship, could have come all the way from Australia.

A spokesman for the National Marine Aquarium said the sail-like creatures, which have sting-carrying tentacles that are up to 15ft long, were blown here by strong South Westerly winds.

And Tom Hardy, a marine conservation officer at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said he expects more man-of-wars to arrive during the summer.

‘They have been blown across by the prevailing winds. I would expect many more to follow.’

Mr Hardy said bathers and beach-goers should take care around the creatures and seek advice from local lifeguards if they are stung.

‘If people are stung they may suffer a shortness of breath in the most severe cases. In most cases they may have a bad sting,’ he told the Plymouth Herald.

‘We would advise people to rinse the area with either warm water or sea water, and try to remove the stingers carefully.’

They can produce a nasty and painful sting which leaves red welts on the skin, and if untreated they could take months to heal.

Friends Jess Manford and Donald Mann were walking along Tregantle beach on Monday evening when they spotted the pink-rimmed creature.


article-0-05E0D5FA000005DC-736_634x373.jpg Army: Photographer Jess Manford spotted eight of the creatures on the beach. More are expected to invade


Miss Manford, 26, a freelance photographer from Hartley, said: ’It was really exciting.

‘I was just walking along the beach with Donald when we spotted about eight of them washed up on the shore.

‘It was pretty dark, so we couldn’t see much, but we assumed that there must have been a lot more in the sea.

‘I am quite interested in marine wildlife anyway so I knew that they were Portuguese man-of-war.

‘Being a professional photographer I own an underwater camera, but it broke about two weeks ago, which is so annoying.

‘In the end I had to take the photos quickly on my phone.’

The last time a major number were washed up on our beaches was in 1945 and that saw hundreds washed up.

But in the last two years approximately two dozen of the creatures have been reported on south coast beaches.

The Portuguese man-of-war is not a true jellyfish, but a siphonophore - a single animal made up of a colony of organisms, which normally lives far out in the ocean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...