Numerous Tourists Including 4 Children Stung By Portuguese Man O’ War At North Carolina Beach
While it may not combat every situation, I have one hard fast rule when it comes to swimming. I do not get in water that I cannot see my feet in. Which means North Carolina beaches, I’ll put my feet in, maybe duck down to cool off for a moment or two, but that’s it. You want to see me swimming in the ocean, it will be in the Caribbean or the Florida gulf coast. There are multiple reasons for this, one is water that isn’t clear is just gross to me. But the other is that I want to be able to see what is around me. And this story is a perfect example of why. Over the holiday long weekend, multiple tourists were stung by a Portuguese Man O’ War at a popular North Carolina beach.
Portuguese Man O’ War In North Carolina
The incidents took place at Oak Island and were made known to the public via a Facebook post. Oak Island Rescue took to the social media platform and said that they were aware of six incidents of individuals being stung by the creatures. Of the six people stung, four were children. The sting of the Portuguese Man O’ War is known to be particularly painful. Contrary to popular belief the Man O’ War is not a jellyfish, it’s a member of the siphonophore species. According to Ocean Service, they are characterized by their “balloon-like float”. They may be blue, violet, or pink in color. This balloon can be up to six inches above the waterline.
But it’s the tentacles you have to be wary of. These can be as long as 30 feet. Yeah, I can understand how people get stung when they are that long! The sting, while painful, is rarely deadly. And they can sting even washed up on the shore.