Keep up to date with the latest news delivered direct to your Inbox.
Deadly Danger on Cornish Beaches
6:01am 7th September 2012
Deadly jellyfish-like creatures are being washed up on some Cornish beaches.
At least one person has already been stung by the Portuguese Man of War, which can be lethal.
Experts are warning us to watch out for the pasty shaped balloons with hanging tentacles and steer clear.
So far they have had reports from Portheras, Summerleaze and Widemouth beaches.
The last significant number of strandings occurred in 2009, although a few were reported on beaches in south west Cornwall late last year.
Dr Peter Richardson from the Marine Conservation Society said: “Last weekend a member of the public contacted Cornwall Council about a small number of what MCS identified as Portuguese Man of War washed up at Portheras Cove. We then had reports of similar sightings as Summerleaze and Widemouth beaches. Our most recent reports were from Portheras on Thursday morning. With earlier strandings in Ireland, these recent sightings could herald the arrival of more of the creatures as they get blown in from the Atlantic.”
The Portuguese Man of War is not a jellyfish but is closely related, and consists of a floating colony of hydrozoans – many really tiny marine organisms living together and behaving collectively as one animal. The pasty-shaped, transparent purple float is characteristic and the blue, tentacle-like ‘fishing polyps’ that hang below the float can be tens of metres long.
Dr Richardson warned: “The Portuguese Man of War’s tentacle-like polyps deliver an agonising and potentially lethal sting.
"Because a stranded Portuguese Man of War looks a bit like a deflating purple balloon with blue ribbons attached, it may attract the curiosity of children. If you are visiting a Cornish beach this weekend it is well worth making sure you know what these animals look like and that no one picks them up. We are urging the public to report any encounters with Portuguese Man of War through our website so we get a better idea of the extent of the strandings."
Rebecca Kirk, from Cornwall Council said: “A sting from these jelly fish may lead to an allergic reaction. There can also be serious effects, including fever and shock. Anyone who thinks they have been stung should seek medical attention immediately or contact NHS direct. Even though they are washed up on the beach they can still present a possible risk of stinging and parents are advised to ensure children avoid touching any washed up jelly fish.”
6:01am 7th September 2012
Share This StoryTweet
How Much Is Half Term Costing Cornish Parents?
Experts say we're forking out hundreds on childcare and entertainment
Cornish Firefighters Tackle Blaze Across The Border
Duchy crews were drafted in to help put out a blaze in Devon
UPDATE: Further Remains Found In Truro Woods After Discovery Of Human Foot
Cornwall News: Police are now searching the stream bed in Nansavallan Woods
Boris Johnson says Heathrow third runway 'undeliverable'
National News: Theresa May has been accused of promising the "undeliverable" by her own Foreign Secretary as the political fallout from the decision to approve a third runway at Heathrow began.
Business Cornwall News - Friday, 18th December 2015
Business Cornwall News: Cornwall is spearheading reform of the Uk’s business licensing laws following a a year-long project.
Rihanna urges fans to help find missing dancer Shirlene Quigley
Showbiz News: A dancer who has performed with Beyonce, Rihanna and Missy Elliott has vanished, leaving behind a cryptic message.
Demolition of Calais 'Jungle' migrant camp under way in France
World News: Demolition of the Calais 'Jungle' is now underway as thousands more migrants prepare to be taken to new accommodation across France on the second day of the camp's mass evacuation.
Mourinho urged to make football, not war
Sports News: Barcelona great Xavi says Jose Mourinho needs to tone down his confrontational stance if Manchester United are to succeed.
Ranger dines out after finding giant 10kg mushroom in Falkirk
Strange News: A giant puffball mushroom with a 1.5-metre circumference and weight of more than 10kg has been found - and quickly eaten - by a countryside ranger and her colleagues.