Man-of-war storm the beach
Wed, 30 May 2012 22:13:06 GMT —
Beryl not only brought rain and rip currents to the Grand Strand, a few Portuguese man-of-war washed ashore. The blue tentacled creature resembles a jellyfish and is venomous.
A day at the beach can turn sour quickly if you're stung by a jellyfish. Frankie Freeman is here with his family for the week from Columbia. He's learned his lesson after being stung by a jellyfish while swimming.
"Just try to stay away if you can because they will sting you," says Freeman with a laugh.
Wednesday at least six Portuguese man-of-war washed up on the south end of Myrtle Beach. They may look innocent, but their stings pack a punch. Their long tentacles are said to be very painful if they sting you.
The man-of-war's that washed up were dead but, "They're still very potent. They still have the stinging cells in their tentacles which can still cause a hazard out here if somebody tries to pick one up," explains Wesley Cox with Lack's Beach Service.
Typically man-of-war aren't seen on the Grand Strand until late August.
"Due to the storm they've blown them out of the Gulf and therefore they're washing ashore," says Cox.
As a precaution lifeguards take them off the beach before they can harm anyone. They don't recommend picking them up.
"It's an allergic reaction and some people have a stronger reaction than other people and also the warmer the water the more potent the sting," adds Cox.
If you find yourself stung by a man of war, a simple vinegar solution won't be enough. Cox recommends using a mixture of ammonia and meat tenderizer.
According to National Geographic, man of war is technically a siphonophore, that's an animal made up of a colony of organisms working together.