Jelly fish warnings at resort

MARINE wildlife experts are today warning swimmers to look out for jelly fish following reports of youngsters enjoying the sea at Felixstowe being stung.

MARINE wildlife experts are today warning swimmers to look out for jelly fish following reports of youngsters enjoying the sea at Felixstowe being stung.

Several children have been taken to their doctors and the town's community hospital after coming into contact with them and with the sea now around 17C and warming up there could be more “blooms” or swarms to come.

Conservationists say the jellyfish - which have been found around The Dip area below Cliff Road, Old Felixstowe - could be of several different sorts as many types carry a mild sting.

The Lion's Mane jellyfish has the most powerful and painful sting of the UK species, but is rarely seen south of the Irish Sea on the west coast, or south of Northumberland on the east coast, with most reports coming from Scottish waters.


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The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) said:

Never touch jellyfish with bare hands;

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Always use a stick or wear arm length rubber gloves if you need to turn them over for identification;

Beware of the stinging tentacles and keep your face and any exposed skin well clear;

Seek medical attention in the case of a severe sting.

Peter Richardson, MCS biodiversity programme manager said: “This year's jellyfish season started in April in the Irish Sea, when barrel jellyfish were reported off the Welsh coast.

“In May we started to receive reports of big blooms of the harmless moon jellyfish from around the UK, and then through June and July, large numbers of the beautiful blue and compass jellyfish also started to wash up on our beaches.

“Blooms of the stinging Lion's Mane jellyfish have been recorded in the Irish Sea as well as on Scotland's east coast, and a potentially dangerous Portuguese Man Of War was recorded near Land's End in Cornwall in mid-July.”

He said climate change was probably responsible for bringing more species of jellyfish to UK waters - such as mauve stingers - and the key message was look, don't touch to avoid getting a painful sting.

The MCS was keen to hear from holidaymakers and coastal residents who have seen jellyfish in the sea this summer.

A spokesman for Suffolk PCT said a few children had been treated at Felixstowe Community Hospital for stings.

Have you been stung by a jellyfish off Suffolk? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

FASTFACTS: Jellyfish

Seven types of jellyfish are commonly found around many parts of the British coastline in summer:

Compass jellyfish - a stinger, has bizarre compass-like markings and 24 long thin tentacles.

Moon jellyfish - umbrella shaped, up to 40cm in diameter, mild sting.

Lion's mane - usually about 50cm diameter but can reach two metres, reddish brown, long tentacles, nasty sting.

Barrel mouth - up to one metre in diameter, like a large white bell with frilled arms.

Mauve stinger - has a deep bell with mauve or pink warts and four long frilled arms, a stinger.

Blue jellyfish - Similar to a Lion's mane but blue, mild sting.

Portuguese Man-of-War - not strictly a jellyfish but an oval-shaped floating colony of hydrozoans, powerful sting, rare in UK.

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