Page last updated at 17:15 GMT, Wednesday, 5 August 2009 18:15 UK

Beach signs warn of 'jellyfish'

One of the Portuguese Man O' War washed up in Pembrokeshire
You should seek medical advice if you are stung by a Portuguese Man O' War

Beach-goers have been warned to be aware of venomous Portuguese Men o'War after they were found in popular coastal spots.

Signs have been put up at beaches in Pembrokeshire warning people about the creatures and the painful stings carried in their tentacles.

Ten have been found at Amroth beach in the last couple of days, with others spotted at Tenby and Mill Bay.

The council signs are being put up at more than 30 beaches in the county.

A similar warning was given last week after 10 washed up in Devon and Cornwall.

Conservationists said it was the third consecutive year they had been brought ashore by strong winds.

With distinctive transparent bodies, the creature is often - and wrongly - thought to be a jellyfish.

The chances of swimmers actually encountering one in the water while bathing are extremely slim
Pembrokeshire council spokesman

It is actually a siphonophore - a colony of tiny specialised polyps and medusoids and can be found in the northern Atlantic Gulf Stream and the Pacific.

The warning notice erected at the beaches reads: "Attention. Portuguese Men O' War jellyfish have been reported in the seas and beaches around Pembrokeshire recently.

"Please be vigilant when using the beach or swimming as they can give a severe sting when touched and in certain circumstances can lead to an allergic reaction.

"If stung, seek medical advice. It is always advisable to swim in life guarded areas where possible."

A council spokesman said the Portuguese Man O' War was a rare visitor to Pembrokeshire shores.

"The chances of swimmers actually encountering one in the water while bathing are extremely slim," he said.

"However they do possess a sting said to be 10 times stronger than an ordinary jellyfish and swimmers should be aware of their possible presence."

Treatment for the sting - which leave whip-like, red welts on the skin - involves washing the affected area with salt water and then applying ice to dull the pain.

Anyone who has seen a jellyfish is asked to inform a lifeguard or contact a beach warden on 07770 574242 or 07721 861005.



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SEE ALSO
Jellyfish warning to beachgoers
21 Aug 07 |  Cornwall
Second dangerous jellyfish found
24 Aug 07 |  Cornwall

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