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Jul 10, 2015 3:55 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Beachgoers Warned To Stay Away From Portuguese Man-Of-Wars

The Portuguese man-of-war.  KYRIL BROMLEY
Jul 14, 2015 1:11 PM

For the second time in three years, lifeguards are warning residents and visitors to be vigilant about Portuguese man-of-wars in waters off the South Fork, after several washed ashore on beaches between Moriches Inlet and Montauk Point in recent weeks.

Notorious for its severe sting and very long tentacles, the man-of-war is easily recognized by its translucent blue or pink gelatinous bladder, which sits like a sail atop a mop of tentacles.

There have been no reports of any swimmers being stung at South Fork beaches this year, although two children were treated recently on Fire Island for man-of-war stings. One child had touched the remains of a man-of-war that had been washed ashore.

Lifeguards say that the most common interaction between the infamous creatures and humans is with jellyfish that have been blown ashore and died but still can deliver a potent sting.

“It’s really not that much worse than the jellyfish we have here, it will leave a welt,” Southampton Town Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Chris Bean said of the animal’s sting. “Some people get nervous and panic about that, but usually you can wash it off with sea water and treat it yourself—just some rubbing alcohol will usually do it. But occasionally you get a bad skin reaction and need to go to the doctor.”

The man-of-war, which is not a true jellyfish, is more commonly found in tropical waters and along the coast of Florida and Gulf states, where they can come inshore by the thousands and make swimming impossible for days. They appear locally in smaller numbers on occasion—the last time in 2013—when winds and ocean currents conspire to carry them northward from the Gulf Stream.

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heard 2 washed up on fowlefs beach yesterday.
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Jul 10, 15 6:19 PM
Maybe include a picture of what you're warning to stay away from???
By S'hamptonNative (84), Southampton on Jul 10, 15 11:39 PM
Pictures would be helpful?
By bradbutler (3), quiogue on Jul 11, 15 6:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
GOOGLE it if you don't know what they look like.... Just saying....


http://media.irishcentral.com/images/swf+Portuguese_Man_o_War_100_5320.jpg
By tookatz (83), westhampton beach on Jul 11, 15 6:22 PM
GOOGLE it if you don't know what they look like.... Just saying....


http://media.irishcentral.com/images/swf+Portuguese_Man_o_War_100_5320.jpg
By tookatz (83), westhampton beach on Jul 11, 15 6:24 PM
Men-o'-war
By bambi (76), bridgehampton on Jul 27, 15 7:50 AM
Men-o'-war seen at Gibson Beach recently
By bambi (76), bridgehampton on Jul 27, 15 7:51 AM