40 Portuguese man o’ war found on Kiawah Island Beach
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials are warning beachgoers to use caution after dozens of Portuguese men o’ war recently washed up on a Lowcountry beach.
Barrier Island Ocean Rescue says 40 Portuguese men o’ war were found on Kiawah Island Beach. Officials say a team is working to remove them, but with the current tide conditions the men o’ war may still wash onto the shore.
The animal, which is closely related to the jellyfish, is commonly found in the Atlantic Ocean. It lives on the ocean surface and has no means of propulsion. Barrier Island Ocean Rescue says they are recognized by their balloon-like float, which may be blue, violet or pink and floats up to six inches above the water line. They may also resemble a plastic bag.
Officials are advising beachgoers to use caution for themselves and their pets. The Portuguese man o’ war has long venomous tentacles that can inflict a painful sting on swimmers or beach walkers.
Beachgoers are encouraged to contact Beach Control at 843-518-2880 if they see a man o’ war in the water or on the shore, or if they are stung.
Officials suggest the remedy is to rinse immediately with salt water to wash away any microscopic nematocysts. Studies show fresh water is less effective as a treatment.
In the event of a severe allergic reaction, dial 911 immediately.
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