BEACH-GOERS are being warned to keep their distance as fearsome jellyfish-like creatures with terrifying tentacles are being washed up at Pembrokeshire beaches.

Atlantic Portuguese man o' wars, also known as the man-of-war, blue bottle, or floating terror, have been found at both Freshwater West and Freshwater East in recent days.

They have also been sighted at Amroth and at West Angle Beach.

Western Telegraph:

A Portuguese man o' war at Amroth. PICTURE: Claire Mantripp.

The creatures, which can deliver a powerful, and sometimes, fatal sting, are not actually a jellyfish but a collection of interdependent organisms.

They live on the surface of the ocean and the gas filled bladder on top of act as a sail, meaning the creature travels according to the winds, currents, and tides.

Western Telegraph:

A Portuguese man o' war at West Angle Beach. PICTURE: Penny Harris.


Freshwater East Coast Care Secretary Graham Wharton said: “We’ve collected about 60; on Saturday we had about 10-15, and, when the winds got up on Sunday, we collected about 30; we clean the beach regularly.

“This morning [October 14] we’ve had about 30; one of them was quite large.”

Graham said Freshwater East saw about 100 Portuguese man o' wars collected last year.

“Last year, we thought it was a one-off and they wouldn’t come back, but when we get easterly winds anything can blow in.”

Freshwater East Coast Care is hoping to work with Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority to warn people of the potential dangers of the potentially dangerous creatures.

“If people come down with kids or dogs, they can be dangerous; dogs run over thinking it may just be a bag,” said Graham.

Anyone who sees any Portuguese man o' wars may contact Graham at Freshwater East Coast Care on 016464 672 046, or 07803 673 478.

Portuguese man o' wars are most commonly found in the open ocean in in tropical and subtropical regions but there have been sightings further north.

Beach-goers are being advised to keep their eyes open as a single Portuguese man o' war can be followed by others in the vicinity.

Anyone spotting a man o’ war should not touch it and report it to HM Coastguard on 01646 690909. The coastguard will then contact the relevant agency.

PICTURES: Gareth Davies – Hidden Pembrokeshire Photography and Claire Mantripp.