Cork County Council Beachguards said patrols took place first thing on Sunday morning when staff came on duty to check for any more of the sea creatures after the sighting was first reported.  

Red flag for venomous sea creature in Garrettstown

The Portuguese Man O’War was spotted on two separate Cork beaches. Picture: Cork County Council Beachguards Facebook

Mon, 23 Aug, 2021 – 07:00

Lifeguards at Garrettstown Beach in Co Cork have raised a red flag after the sighting of a Portuguese Man O’War. 

Often confused for a jellyfish, the venomous siphonophore was also spotted on Saturday morning after it washed ashore the nearby Garrylucas Beach.

One of the sea creatures was also spotted at Owenahincha in Rosscarbery, Co Cork on Saturday evening. 

With tentacles reaching as long as 50 metres in length according to National Geographic, the sting of a Portuguese Man O’War is extremely painful but rarely deadly for humans. 

Cork County Council Beachguards said patrols took place first thing on Sunday morning when staff came on duty to check for any more of the sea creatures after the sighting was first reported.  

“Beachguards will be walking their area of operations first thing when they come on duty in the morning. To see if any more PMOWs have washed up. If more PMOWs are found red flags will be flown,” the statement said. 

In a further statement, Cork County Council Beachguards said apart from the sighting on Owenahincha beach, their lifeguards have no found other specimens. 

“Apart from a report of a Portuguese Man O’ War washed up on Owenahincha Beach yesterday evening, our Lifeguards have found no other specimens since. This doesn’t mean there’s not a possibility of more washing up. So keep an eye out and let us know if you find any,” the statement said. 

A dead Portuguese Man O’War can still sting a person for days after the animal has died, and the wounds can appear like red welts on human skin and can last for one or two days. 

Although the pain does reduce between one and three hours after treatment, other symptoms can include fever and shock. 

Floating in groups of up to 1,000 or more, the Portuguese Man O’War is most often found floating in warm waters of the world’s oceans despite having no means of independent propulsion.

Red flag for venomous sea creature in Garrettstown

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