Sea Bathers Urged To Stay Away From Portuguese “Man O' War”

While no official word has come from the Ministry Of Fisheries concerning the Portuguese “Man O’ War”, persons have been urged to stay away from the colourful sea creature.

The creatures scientific name Physalia physalis also known as the Portuguese man-of-war is a siphonophore, an animal that is made up of a colony of organisms working together, with individual polyps specialized for movement, catching prey, feeding and breeding.

The Portuguese “Man O’ War” has been spotted in Morgan Bay, Barrouallie and at the Peters Hope point by sea bathers and fisherman who have alerted News784.

The name of the creature comes from the uppermost polyp, a gas-filled bladder, or pneumatophore, which sits above the water and somewhat looks like an old warship at full sail.

Photographer Don Tequila Ross told News784 he spotted about a dozen or so floating around on Sunday before he left the area.

Photo by Don-Tequila Ross

Research has shown that stings from the Man O’ War can be severe and last up to 20 minutes.

In more severe cases, the sting can trigger chest pain, difficulty breathing and even death.

According to the University of Hawaii at Manoa study, the best way to treat a sting is to rinse the wound with vinegar to remove any residual stingers and bits of tentacles and then immerse in hot water or apply a hot compress to the area.

The Daily Mail reported in 2010 that a 69yro woman swimming off a holiday beach in Porto Tramatzu near Cagliari, Sardinia died after being stung by a jellyfish in what is thought to be the first case of its kind in Europe.

Witnesses said the woman Maria Furcas, swam back to the beach where she told a lifeguard what had happened.

She then collapsed after suffering what is thought to have been an anaphylactic shock.

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