You don’t want this guy as a swim buddy.
Redbarn Beach in East Cork is closed to swimmers today following a sighting of the dangerous Lion’s Mane jellyfish.
The red flags have been raised in the popular Youghal spot after the jellyfish, one of the largest species of jellyfish there is, was spotted in the water.
Most likely to be spotted in the waters of Ireland and the UK between June and late September, a sting from a Lion’s Mane jellyfish can be quite nasty, causing swelling, itching, burning, severe pain, and long red stripes that often blister.
All jellyfish possess stinging cells, “stingers”, on their tentacles. According to the HSE, brushing against tentacles can cause the release of these stingers which contain venom (poison).
“Depending on the type of jellyfish, the stingers may not be sharp enough and long enough to pierce the skin and the skin forms a natural barrier to most stings. More delicate areas, such as the eyes and lips, might be more easily pierced.” said a HSE spokesperson.
“However, the Lion’s Mane stinging cells are much sharper and can pierce skin easily resulting in a painful sting. Jellyfish stings in Ireland are not usually life-threatening and just require basic first aid and simple pain relief.”
What to do if you’re stung
If you do find yourself on the receiving end of a jellyfish sting, the advice is to head for the nearest chipper and get yourself some vinegar to rinse the area. Remove any visible tentacles, then soak the wound in hot water for 40 minutes.