Dangerous unwelcome visitors: Portuguese man o’ war spotted on Windward beach

By Admin. Updated 5:55 a.m., Saturday, January 14, 2023, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

A Portuguese Man o’ war spotted washed ashore in Cedars on January 13, 2023. Photo: Mrs. Beulah Bobb.

The presence of the Portuguese man o’ war was spotted on a beach yesterday (January 13) in Cedars on the Windward side of St. Vincent.

The spotting was made by Mrs. Beulah Bobb, who said she went to the beach on Friday for the first time since October 2022. She said she is usually a frequent visitor to the beach.

The sea creatures which are sometimes mistaken for jellyfish due to their appearance are very dangerous because of their painful sting.

She said she saw some washed up on the shore while others were in the water.

The Portuguese man o’ war, also called the Portuguese Men-of-war has tentacles that can reach 165 feet (50 meters) long and are covered with nematocysts—“coiled, barbed bodies,” according to National Geographic.

National Geographic says for humans, a man-of-war sting is excruciatingly painful, but rarely deadly. But beware—even dead man-of-wars washed up on shore can deliver a sting.

For humans, though, a man-of-war sting can cause welts and severe pain—and allergic reaction can affect a person’s breathing, National Geographic reports.

They are not jellyfish, though they strongly resemble their cousins of the sea, National Geographic says.

Beachgoers, especially on the Windward side, should be vigilant.

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