Warning for sea swimmers as dangerous giant jellyfish spotted on Irish beaches
Published 19/07/2016 | 15:51
Irish Water Safety has warned swimmers to beware of the dangerous Lion’s Mane jellyfish, which have been spotted in their numbers along Ireland’s east coast in recent days.
The jellyfish’s sting is much stronger than those of other species found in Irish waters and can cause anaphylactic reactions in people who are allergic.
John Leech of Irish Water Safety revealed that there is at least one hospitalisation in Ireland each year following a sting from a Lion’s Mane jellyfish and swimmers in Louth, Meath, Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford should be extremely vigilant.
“Everyone who is swimming this week in beaches along the East coast should be conscious of these Lion’s Mane jellyfish, which have been brought in with the spring tide in their numbers,” he said.
“They have the potential to cause an anaphylactic reaction in someone who is stung, if they should be allergic, but much like a bee sting, you don’t know until you’ve been stung.
“We have seen a number of people hospitalised from this jellyfish and its sting is quite painful and different to other jellyfish found in Irish waters.
“The sting from their tentacles may last for days after they have died,” he said.
“They should ease off in about five days when the tide goes out again, there will be fewer of them,” he said.
The Lion’s Mane jellyfish can have a diameter of up to 2 metres and has more than 150 tentacles. The creatures range in colour from deep red to yellow.
Meath County Council has issued warnings to swimmers in Bettystown after the creatures were spotted in the ocean yesterday.
“Lions Mane Jellyfish have been found on the Bettystown beach in recent days,” a statement said.
“The council is advising all bathers to be extremely vigilant when visiting the beach as stings from these jellyfish can be very serious.”
Swimmers in Galway and Mayo need not think they are totally safe from a nasty sting from a Lion’s Mane either, as they have also been spotted on the West coast, albeit in much smaller numbers.
Meanwhile, the Irish Water Safety spokesperson also revealed that peeing on a jellyfish sting is an old wives’ tale and will not alleviate the pain.
“If you get stung, you need to wash it with salt water and remove the tentacles as soon as you can. Place a dry cold pack against it. As with anything, if the pain does not die down or the sting appears particularly bad, seek medical attention and go to A&E,” he said.