Sunday 30 April 2017

Warning for sea swimmers as dangerous giant jellyfish spotted on Irish beaches

A Lion's Mane Jellyfish spotted in Templetown
A Lion's Mane Jellyfish spotted in Templetown
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

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.

The Lion's Mane jellyfish can reach a diameter of 2m, but are normally much smaller. They have 150 tentacles each and their colour ranges from deep red to yellow. Photo: IWS
The Lion's Mane jellyfish can reach a diameter of 2m, but are normally much smaller. They have 150 tentacles each and their colour ranges from deep red to yellow. Photo: IWS

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.

A Lion's Mane Jellyfish spotted in Bettystown
A Lion's Mane Jellyfish spotted in Bettystown

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.”

Three year old Saoirse Gallagher with Alex [8] and Evie [5] Doyle from Cabra, cool down the water on Dublin's Dollymount Strand.
Picture Credit : Frank Mc Grath
18/7/16
Three year old Saoirse Gallagher with Alex [8] and Evie [5] Doyle from Cabra, cool down the water on Dublin's Dollymount Strand. Picture Credit : Frank Mc Grath 18/7/16
18/07/16 People out enjoying the good weather at Forty foot, Sandycove ,Dublin this afternoon..Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
18/07/16 People out enjoying the good weather at Forty foot, Sandycove ,Dublin this afternoon..Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
18/07/16 People out enjoying the good weather at Forty foot, Sandycove ,Dublin this afternoon..Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
18/07/16 People out enjoying the good weather at Forty foot, Sandycove ,Dublin this afternoon..Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
18/07/16Enjoying the good weather at Forty foot, Sandycove ,Dublin this afternoon..Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
19/7/16 Kara Hinch, age 4 and Ryleigh Coulahan, age 3, Tallaght, enjoying the great weather at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin. Pictures:Arthur Carron
19/7/16 People enjoying the great weather at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin. Pictures:Arthur Carron
19/7/16 People enjoying the great weather at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin. Pictures:Arthur Carron
19/7/16 Eve Craven, age 5, and her brother Isaac, age 2, Killiney, enjoying the great weather at the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin. Pictures:Arthur Carron
Sun, Sea, Sand and an Ice Cream... Two and a half year old Callum Mulholland from Finglas cools down with and ice cream on Dublin's Dollymount Strand. Picture Credit : Frank Mc Grath 18/7/16
Ten year old Ella Troy jumps off the sandunes with Aidan [7] and Cian [6] Cullen from Santry, on Dublin's Dollymount Strand. Picture Credit : Frank Mc Grath 18/7/16
Demi Ryan, 4, from Crumlin enjoys the good weather on Sandymount beach in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 18/7/2016
Demi Ryan, 4, left, and Maya Courtney, 4 from Crumlin enjoys the good weather on Sandymount beach in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 18/7/2016
Tuesday 19 July 2016. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Portmarnock Beach. Enjoying the sunshine: Ava Moran (3) Isabella Dodrill (7) Harry Moran (7) from Blanchardstown.
Tuesday 19 July 2016. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Portmarnock Beach. Enjoying the sunshine.
Tuesday 19 July 2016. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Portmarnock Beach. Enjoying the sunshine. Shay's Burger Van.
Tuesday 19 July 2016. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Portmarnock Beach. Enjoying the sunshine: Kate Spila from Maynooth with her son Adam (3) and her nephew Daniel Spila (4)

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.

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