Republic of Ireland news

Summer bathers warned about monster stinging jellyfish

The huge lion's mane jellyfish can deliver a painful sting to unsuspecting swimmers
Seamus McKinney

THE summer heatwave has come with a sting in the tail for bathers on Ireland's west coast in the form of the lion's mane jellyfish.

Experts have warned of a rise in numbers of the huge jellyfish, with several people already requiring hospital treatment after being stung.

The largest species of jellyfish, the lion's mane takes its name from its long tentacles which can carry severe stings.

While most have a “bell” or top of just under two feet in diameter, they can grow to over six feet with tentacles which trail in the water.

The sting normally causes cramps, headaches, sweating and nausea and can result in anaphylactic shock in the worst cases.

Zoologist Tom Doyle has warned that the jellyfish seen off the west coast are particularly large and mature this year.

Some swimmers in Co Galway have already had to seek medical attention after being stung.

The Republic's Health Service Executive has advised anyone stung by a lion's mane to leave the water and contact a lifeguard where available.

They should try to remove tentacles from their skin with gloves or tweezers if possible, or else using a clean stick or the edge of a bank card. Sea water should be used to clean the skin.

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