IRISH Water Safety is warning Kerry beach-goers to be on the look out an influx of the Portuguese Man-of-War, which have already landed in beaches across the country.
The jelly-fish like creatures, which measure an average of 12 inches in length and five inches in width, with tentacles up to a maximum of 165ft, have already been sighted in Waterford and Cork and are expected to land on in Kerry, according to officials.
"With a promising weather forecast for the weekend, swimmers, surfers and families enjoying the beach are at a high risk of encountering them," a spokesperson from Irish Water Safety said.
"There have been sightings in Tramore, Ardmore, Inchydoney and Schull so far and may land on other shores, particularly Kerry."
Man-of-wars are often found in groups of 1,000 or more, floating in warm waters. They have no independent means of propulsion and either drift on the currents or catch the wind with their gas filled floats. The stinging, venomfilled nematocysts in the tentacles can paralyse small fish and other prey.
Detached tentacles and dead specimens (including those that wash up on shore) can sting just as painfully as the live creature in the water and may remain potent for hours or even days after the death of the creature or the detachment of the tentacle.
Stings usually cause severe pain to humans, leaving whip-like, red welts on the skin that normally last 2 or 3 days after the initial sting, though the pain should subside after about an hour.
However, the venom can travel to the lymph nodes and may cause, depending on the amount of venom, a more intense pain and may lead to an allergic reaction.