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Jellyfish Swarms

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July 3rd 2018

UK JELLYFISH WARNING: Swarms of dangerous ‘LIONS MANE’ jellyfish hit British beaches

Swarms of nightmarish jellyfish are descending on the UK's most popular beaches as the country remains gripped by a sweltering heatwave. While the sea creatures are no stranger to British waters, sightings of the infamous lion's mane species have rocketed as our seas begin to warm up.

Lion's mane jellyfish can grow longer than a blue whale, and have the most severe sting of any jellyfish species found in British waters, often leaving their victims hospitalised. 

And the venomous creatures have become more commonplace in recent years, with global warming making our ocean environment a more attractive location for them.

Dr Peter Richardson, head of ocean recovery at the Marine Conservation Society, said: "Our national survey suggests significant recent rises in the numbers of some jellyfish species in UK seas, most notably the barrel jellyfish.

"The million-dollar question is why this is happening? At the moment we just don't know." 


Oct 4th 2017


Pockets numbering in their hundreds were reported initially on beaches across Cornwall with further instances in Dorset, Devon and Wales and sightings still occurring regularly as far east as Milford-on-Sea in Hampshire.

Dr. Richardson, an expert at the MSC, said: "The last really big sighting was in 2012. They spread further in 2012 but we have greater numbers this time" 

"It will be down to a combination of factors [including] the extreme weather we've had with the hurricanes. They are not supposed to be here." 

Jellyfish are open ocean creatures and as such, very difficult to study or monitor.

Dr. Richardson recommended that surfers wear full body wet-suits to protect them from extremely painful and in rare cases fatal stings. 

Dr. Richardson also recommended extreme caution where children are concerned as a beached man-of-war can have the appearance of a deflated balloon on account of their gas-filled bladder, sometimes referred to as the "sail" which enables them to float and drift with the current. 

Should a sting occur, the NHS recommends carefully removing any remaining tentacles from the skin, thoroughly rinsing the affected area with sea water and afterwards soaking in hot water to ease pain.

If the symptoms become more severe or a sensitive area of the body has been stung, medical help should be sought immediately. 

Research by scientists at NUI Galway and the University of Hawaii-Manoa revealed that the application of vinegar followed by warm water to a sting was potentially the most effective form of treatment.

The MCS encourages members of the public to continue reporting any sightings via their website  www.mcsuk.org


Sept 13th 2017

Men-of-war were spotted at Newgale, Pembrokeshire, on 8 September and on beaches from Bude to Gwithian – Portheras Cove and Summerleaze, Widemouth, Perranporth, Hayle, Holywell Bay, Praa Sands, Gwithian. Newquay.

Dr Peter Richardson from the MCS said a man-of-war’s tentacles which are around 10m (30ft) long, “deliver an agonising and potentially lethal sting”.

“They are very pretty and look like partially deflated balloons with ribbons but picking one up could be very nasty,” he said.
The men-of-war retain their sting when they are wet, even if they look dead, he warned.

If you are stung
The NHS recommends using tweezers, clean stick or gloves to carefully removing any remaining tentacles from the skin, thoroughly wash the affected area with seawater (not fresh water).
Afterwards, soak the area in hot water to ease the pain.
Pain from a Portuguese man-of-war sting usually lasts about 15-20 minutes. Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience severe, lasting pain, or if the affected area becomes infected.

If symptoms become more severe, or a sensitive part of the body has been stung, you should seek medical help.


Summer in coming Take Extra Care

Always swim safe, avoid swimming alone, swim where there are lifeguards present between the flags if possible, the stings are extremely painful and can be fatal.

Swimming is what most of us like to do, we travel long distances just to swim on one of the beautiful beaches of the world. Swimming is relaxing and fun to do for your family but you need to be safe all the time, because an accident may happen such as being stung, which can be fatal to humans because it can cause shock, immediate intense pain and allergic reactions. You can have a worry free swim free from these stings if you just follow safety precautions that we work hard to provide for you.

Take our advice to you, that before you go swimming check first the swimming area if it has jellyfish warnings and keep yourself updated with the local news, and you should ask the life guard in the swimming area you choose, if there is no lifeguard ask the locals.

If you want to go serious swimming our advice to you is wearing wetsuit, rubber water socks or verruca socks is your best course of action.

Upon encountering these creatures you should STAY CALM and SWIM AWAY.

Please take this friendly reminder to never ever try to TOUCH THEM for fun because you will not like the pain it will give you.

If there is no escape and you get stung you should stay calm, treat immediately by rinsing the tentacles off with salt water, remove the tentacles by using tweezers and wear gloves.

We recommend that you apply vinegar to the affected area to neutralize the toxin.

You are advised to NEVER wash the affected area with FRESH WATER as it will make the pain worse.

You can take pain reliever medicine.

After your first aid you should visit a doctor or go to the hospital straight away.

Oct 19th 2016

PHUKET: -- A leading Australian marine biologist and jellyfish expert has raised serious concerns that the recent salp bloom that saw thousands of specimens wash ashore Phuket’s west coast weeks ago could indicate the presence of deadly Irukandji box jellyfish.

 The alarm was raised when thousands of tiny, translucent “jellies” – now identified as salp – were found washed up along a 10-kilometre stretch of Phuket’s west coast on Sept 18, with reports that contact with the jellies resulted in a rash.

 Yet it is now believed that the arrival of salp in such great numbers may indicate the arrival of much more harmful, possibly deadly, jellyfish: Irukandji.

 Although Phuket has never suffered a box jellyfish fatality on record, what makes the Irukandji so different is that its victims are often wrongly diagnosed as suffering from food poisoning, a severe allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock, explains Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, a globally recognised leading researcher who has spent 18 years studying jellyfish, with a focus on Irukandji species.

 “The salps are not as harmless as they may seem,” Dr Gershwin told The Phuket News. “The salps themselves are not able to sting, but they co-occur and indicate the presence of small, transparent jellyfish called Irukandji that are highly dangerous.

 "Salps very often co-occur with Irukandjis in tropical waters, and salps are the most visible indicator that Irukandjis are infesting,” she said.

Oct 6th 2016

 Thailand RAYONG: -- A local tourist board representative said that a 27 year old Chinese tourist was stung by an Australian species of box jellyfish on Tuesday.

 But he said that the response to the emergency showed that training conducted for local staff was paying off, reports Thairath.

 Mr Yang Yang was stung as he was swimming off the beach at Koh Talu off the Rayong coastline.

 He was treated at the Koh Samet International Clinic in Ban Phe but was out of danger. He had wounds on his hand, his calf and both feet but survived the sting that can prove fatal in some circumstances.

Phitsanu Kkemaphan of the Koh Samet tourist board said that Australian box jellyfish were rare in these parts and were usually found in deep waters, not at beaches.

 He said that he thought the arrival of this jellyfish was probably down to global warming and changing currents.

 He put a good spin on the incident saying that training recently conducted for the Samet clinic staff by several hospitals on the eastern seaboard had shown their readiness to deal with this particular type of emergency.

Aug 9th 2016

It may look like something you'd expect to see off the coast of somewhere exotic and tropical - but this gigantic jellyfish was filmed off the coast of West Wales.

Sporting 24 long tentacles, Compass Jellyfish are tinged orange-brown and have four long, frilly mouth arms which extend below their tentacles.

The tentacles have stinging cells to capture prey and can give a very painful sting to humans.

This two-metre Compass Jellyfish was spotted by Lloyd Jones, and PADI diving Instructor at St Brides Haven beach last weekend.

He told WalesOnline : "The Jellyfish was around two metres in length. My partner and dive buddy Angharad Rees pointed it out to me as it passed by overhead.

"We have had a large surge in Jellyfish over the last two weeks.

"Rising sea temperatures are having an effect on their population numbers and migratory patterns."

Lloyd spends a majority of the summer filming the annual Spider Crab migration , which sees more than 1,000 crabs make St Brides their home.

He also enjoys filming Blue Sharks off the Pembrokeshire coastline .

If you are stung, the best thing to do initially is to rinse the wound in salt water.

Rinse with vinegar (if you have some) as the acid will neutralise the toxin in the sting.

Urinating on a sting is unlikely to help.

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Gently scraping the affected area with a credit card or razor will remove any remaining nematocysts (the tiny poisonous sacs released by the jellyfish tentacles).

Jellyfish – although some can provide their own momentum – generally follow the current, which is why they often get washed up.

Swimmers should be vigilant , especially in warm shallow waters. If you do spot a jellyfish floating along, don't try and move it or wave it away, just move out of its path and alert others to its presence.

News info

Off the Northern Ireland coast a 10 mile wide, 13 meter deep swarm of jellyfish attacked a salmon farm wiping out over £1million worth of stock. • Billions of small critters, known as Mauve Stingers, flooded into the cages about a mile into the Irish Sea, off Glenarm Bay and Cushendun. • Swimming bans were imposed at beaches across the Mediterranean because of an influx of stingers along coastlines from Spain to Sicily. • The Red Cross organizations across the Mediterranean region treated 50,000 people for stings in the summer of 2008, almost triple the figure for the previous year.

For the record the largest specimen is called a lion’s mane it is several meters across and its tentacles extend for 27 meters

A little known and almost invisible jellyfish is the miniature box jellyfish called the Irukandji you hardly feel the sting at first, but it develops over time to become unbearable, treat with vinegar and get to hospital as soon as you possibly can.

fortunately with modern communication systems these dangerous situations can be monitored easily and warnings issued by local government, civil defense, police, local radio and television.

Even on the English beaches you can find some nasty creatures such as the stonefish it has spikes on its back so if you step on it whilst paddling you receive a nasty sting which is very painful.

The treatment for this, because the venom is acid, is bicarbonate of soda get it on the area as quick as you can, soak the foot in a hot water bath with bicarbonate of soda dissolved in it you cannot use too much.

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