Huge numbers of Lion’s Mane jellyfish are being spotted at local beaches with more expected over the coming weeks.
Lion’s manes are one of the world’s largest-known species of jellyfish, with long tentacles that can give a painful sting.
With hundreds of them lying on local shores Fingal County Council has issued an urgent warning to beachgoers.
From the middle of August and up to the second week of September conditions are ideal for Lions Mane jellyfish and there will be a noticeable increase in their numbers on our beaches and in our waters.
A spokesperson from Fingal County Council said:
“We are urging bathers to be extra vigilant on all of our beaches where Lions Mane jellyfish are found.
“Please note that even when they’re dead and washed up on the beach, the venom stays in their tentacles for a few days.
“With so many long trailing tentacles there is a chance you could still get stung, even when you try not to swim near them.
“Also, fragments of the lion’s mane jellyfish’s tentacles that break off in the water will sting you, even if they’re no longer attached to the jellyfish.”
A sting from a Lion’s Mane jellyfish can cause nausea, sweating, cramps, headaches and other symptoms and severe stings should seek urgent medical attention.
Where the lifeguards have noticed a large number of Lions Mane jellyfish, they may raise the red flag to advise against swimming.
If you are stung on a lifeguarded beach – please approach the lifeguards on duty for assistance.
First aid for the treatment of jellyfish stings:
- Ensure you don’t get stung yourself when aiding others;
- Remove any attached tentacles with a gloved hand, stick, or towel (none of these available use the tips of your fingers);
- Do not rub the affected area (this may result in further venom release);
- Rinse the affected area with sea-water. When you get home, you can bathe/rinse the area in warm to hot water;
- 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.
What not to do:
- Don’t rub the area;
- Don’t rinse with fresh water. Use sea water;
- Don’t urinate (pee) on the sting;
- Don’t use vinegar for the types of jellyfish stings that might happen in Ireland;
- Don’t use alcohol;
- Don’t put on a tight bandage.
Information is available from HSE here, including a link to the Jellyfish ID Card: https://www.hse.ie/eng/health/hl/water/bathing/jellyfish-in-irish-coastal-waters.html
Parents and guardians of small children are advised to keep watch over their children at all times.
Water quality information will be available on the beach noticeboard and also available on beaches.ie