An armada of Portuguese man o war jelly fish equipped with venomous tentacles is feared to be attacking East Cork beaches.
Countless numbers of the poisonous sea creatures have been spotted on strands from Stony Beach near Roche’s Point to Youghal’s Claycastle.
The public are being warned to tread carefully when using the beach. Parents are particularly urged to keep an eye on young children as the creatures can often be mistaken as balloons.
Experts say it is likely the creatures were brought here by Ex-Hurricane Lorenzo, which arrived in Ireland from the Azores in the mid-Atlantic.
With their arrival Cork County Beach Guards have issued a do not touch warning.
Despite looking harmless they can pack a deadly punch and are known to have tentacles the length of five buses.
The smallest fragment of the creature can issue a lethal red blister like sting.
Warnings were initially issued to coastal communities in the Southwest but the public have witnessed a vanguard of these harmful creatures invading East Cork shores over the past few days.
If you happen to come across someone who has been stung by one of these venomous siphonophores Irish Water Safety has issued the following advice:
Ensure you don’t get stung yourself when aiding others.
Remove any attached tentacles with a gloved hand, stick or towel.
Do not rub the affected area, this may result in further venom release.
Rinse the affected area with sea-water (do not use fresh water, vinegar or urine)
Apply a “dry cold pack” to the area (i.e. place a cold pack or ice inside a plastic bag and then wrap this package in a t-shirt or other piece of cloth).
Seek medical attention if there is anything other than minor discomfort.