Warning over potentially deadly jellyfish spotted on Sussex beach

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A Sussex Council has issued a warning after receiving reports of dangerous Portuguese Man 0’ War jellyfish washing up on local beaches.

The sea creatures have been washing up on beaches in the Hastings area but other parts of the coastline could be affected.

They are deep blue/purple in colour and have an air-filled sack which floats on the surface of the water. It is important not to touch them as stings can be very painful and, in rare case, potentially fatal.

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Although identified by many as a jellyfish, the The Portuguese man o' war is actually a siphonophore. Closely related to jellyfish, It is part of community of organisms that live at the ocean surface. It has numerous venomous microscopic nematocysts which deliver a painful sting powerful enough to kill fish, and has been known to occasionally kill humans.

Portuguese man o' warPortuguese man o' war
Portuguese man o' war

If you do get stung there is advice to follow on the NHS website under sea creature stings. They advise to wash the affected area with sea water (not fresh water) and to soak it in very warm water, as hot as can be tolerated, for 30 minutes. Do not apply ice or a cold pack. You can also find out more on the Marine Conservation Society website on how to identify jellyfish and other sea creatures.