Portuguese men-of-war are washing up in South Carolina, officials warn

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jun 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-04 17:48:11-04

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Officials are warning beachgoers after Portuguese men-of-war were reported at popular South Carolina tourist destination Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue posted on Facebook Thursday that the creatures have been popping up on the north side of Myrtle Beach.

The post reads:

“As the city reported earlier this week we have had reports of Man-O-Wars on our shores. This Man-O-War washed up on our shores on the north end of the beach. If you see these creatures lying on the beach please do not touch them. Please inform the lifeguard services or one of our beach patrols and we will make sure that it gets disposed of properly. As always be aware of your surroundings at the beach and stay safe out there!”

The Portuguese man-of-war has venomous tentacles that deliver a painful sting. It is not a common jellyfish but a siphonophore, which consists of a colony of numerous, specialized organisms, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Beachgoers are urged to take care around Portuguese men-of-war, which are still capable of stinging even when they appear dried out on the beach. Anyone who suffers a sting should rinse the area with plenty of lukewarm water. Ice can help relieve the pain.

Anyone showing signs of shock or a severe reaction is urged to get medical help.