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31st Aug 2021

Caution advised to Irish sea swimmers as Man O’War jellyfish is spotted in Waterford

Fiona Frawley

Man O’War first became a mainstream topic of conversation among the people of Ireland when a large number of them washed up along the west and south west coast following Storm Lorenzo in 2019.

Now swimmers and beachgoers have been advised to take caution once more as the dangerous jellyfish has washed up on a beach in Ardmore, Waterford.

Marine biologist Áine Lisa Shannon spoke yesterday on RTÉ Radio 1 about the Man O’War which, if you really want to get into it, isn’t actually a jellyfish. It’s technically a siphonophore – a group of small individual organisms that can’t live on their own but work together as one in order to survive.

Fair play to them for finding a way to make it work and all that, but Áine still advises you keep well away from them as every part of the siphonophore has the potential to give you a very nasty sting.

As the summer comes to an end Irish waters are at their warmest – the temperature and strong coastal winds explain why there have been some Man O’War sightings over the past week.

Áine mentioned in the interview that Irish lifeguards usually check the beaches each morning and will close the beach if they spot a Man O’War, and if you spot one yourself you’re advised to stay well away – even if they’re washed up or appear to be dead, they can still sting. In her insta post on the species (above), Áine advises if you are stung to wash the area with saltwater, adding distilled vinegar afterward. Then use a heat pack or hot water on the area until the pain subsides and if the sting triggers an allergic reaction, head straight to the hospital.

Header image via Shutterstock

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