Latest update from Boardmasters Festival
‼ Cornish beaches on high alert as lethal Portuguese Man O’War wash up along the coastline ‼
Stay safe with the following information.
The jellyfish-like organisms, which have long purple tentacles, have so far been spotted at Perranporth, Newquay, The Isles Of Scilly, Portheras Cove, Widemouth, Gwithian, Hayle, Holywell Bay and Praa Sands.
Dr Peter Richardson from the Marine Conservation Society said a man o’war’s tentacles, which are usually about 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 o’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.
Despite its appearance the Portuguese Man O’War is not a jellyfish but a marine animal known as a siphonophores. The venom in its tentacles is used to paralyse small fish and can deliver a severely painful stings for humans and can even cause death to small children and from allergy-like symptoms in adults. If sighted, the RNLI advised people not to touch and if someone is stung they must seek assistance from the RNLI lifeguards on duty. The treatment involves removing the tentacles by hand or spraying with seawater, followed by immersion in hot water to relieve symptoms. It’s reassured that “in the majority of cases further medical treatment will not be necessary” but those with any complications or serious stings should be advised to seek further medical assistance.
Members of the public are being encouraged to ring the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s hotline to report strandings on 0345 2012626