Please leave us be.
Fountainstown Beach has become the third Cork beach to be red-flagged since last weekend, due to the arrival of multiple Portuguese man o’war siphonophores.
The little monsters have a very serious sting that is extremely painful to humans and, on rare occasions, can even be fatal.
At around 6pm yesterday evening, the beach posted on Facebook: “Fountainstown Beach was red-flagged by lifeguards after a sighting of a Portuguese Man O’ War jellyfish around 2pm. Swimming is not currently permitted.”
Red flags had also been raised earlier in the week at Garrylucas Beach and Owenahincha Beach owing to sightings of the violent jellyfish (which are not actually, technically, jellyfish). One was also found at Garretstown Beach, so evidently they’re planning some kind of invasion.
Cork County Council has shared safety tips for what you should do if you end up getting stung by one of these things, and have advised the public to keep their eyes peeled for Portuguese man o’wars in both the sea and on the shore, even on beaches where they have not yet been spotted.
- Ensure you don’t get stung yourself when aiding others.
- Remove any attached tentacles with a gloved hand, stick, or towel (none of these available use your fingertips).
- Do not rub the affected area (this may result in further venom release).
- Rinse the affected area copiously with seawater (do not use fresh water, vinegar, alcohol or urine).
- Apply a ‘dry cold pack’ to the area (i.e. place a cold pack or ice inside a plastic bag and then wrap this package in a t-shirt or other piece of cloth).
- Use HOT WATER for Portuguese Man o’ War stings at approximately 45° Celsius for 20 minutes.
- If the patient is suffering from swelling, breathing difficulties, palpitation or chest tightness then transfer to the nearest emergency department urgently.
- Report any sightings on [email protected]
Header image via Facebook/Fountainstown Beach