Man O’War-ning For Beach Users

14th November 2017
Islanders are being urged to take care after a dangerous sea creature has started to re-appear on Jersey’s beaches.
An Environment Department spokesperson says they’ve collected 20 of the Portuguese Man O’War over the weekend.
However, photos shared on social media show there could be lots more of the creatures washing ashore. Daniel Straiton, who was out walking his dog Mia, shared photos to the Jersey Wildlife group on Facebook:

A post to the “Jersey Wildlife” Facebook group

Many dog walkers have raised concerns after seeing them on the shore at L’Etacq and St Ouen’s Bay.
They were first spotted in the island back in September.
It’s not just a problem here, nearly 100 of the invertebrates were spotted in Guernsey at the weekend.

Library photo.

They can deliver a painful and potentially fatal sting. Caroline Maffia from Environmental Health says:
“Pain from a Portuguese Man O’War sting typically lasts 15 to 20 minutes and you treat it differently to a jellyfish sting.”
Their advice for dealing with stings is to:
• Get out of the water if you’re in the sea
• As soon as possible, rinse the area with vinegar to remove the Man O’War tentacles
• When you can, immerse the affected area in hot water (as hot as you can handle, without burning the skin), or apply a hot pack for 45 minutes
• Contrary to popular belief, avoid the use of urine, it doesn’t relieve the sting and can make it worse!
• If the pain continues, treat with local anaesthetic gels and other forms of pain relief from a chemist
• Call 999 if someone needs emergency help

Share this story: