Show/Hide

News Alert: New Jamestown Municipal Water use restrictions as of 9/17/2020. Please read in the News below.

 

Jamestown News

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Mackerel Cove Beach to Fly Purple Flags Warning Visitors of Presence of the Portuguese Man O' War The Town of Jamestown Parks & Recreation Department is announcing that it will be flying purple flags

Be Alert while entering waters surrounding Jamestown

Mackerel Cove Beach to Fly Purple Flags Warning Visitors of Presence of the Portuguese Man O' War

The Town of Jamestown Parks & Recreation Department is announcing that it will be flying purple flags at Mackerel Cove Beach warning swimmers of the presence of the Portuguese Man o' War, a dangerous sea creature with long tentacles and a painful sting. The Parks & Recreation Department first received reports 6 PM yesterday of the presence of Portuguese Man o' War’s that had washed ashore during low tide. A purple flag means that swimmers should swim at their own risk.

According to a press release from the RIDEM, “Although referred to as a jellyfish, the Portuguese Man o' War actually is a siphonophore, a colony of different organisms working together as one and specialized to live in the water column. It is a predatory species. It uses its feeding tentacles to sting and paralyze small fishes, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.”

"What often is the case at this time of year is that a warm core ring has peeled off from the Gulf Stream and come close to the Rhode Island coast," said Jason McNamee, DEM Deputy Director for Natural Resources and a marine biologist. "It likely has brought in a slug of warm water that can contain all manner of interesting creatures. These marine events are usually short-lived."

The Parks & Recreation Department is cautioning swimmers to swim at their own risk and remain alert if they choose to enter the water. The tentacles of the man o' war can grow to 30 feet and longer. They "contain stinging nematocysts, microscopic capsules loaded with coiled, barbed tubes that deliver venom capable of paralyzing and killing small fish and crustaceans," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"If swimmers see something that looks like a balloon floating on top of the water, they should stay far away," said McNamee. "Once the man o' war gets into the surf zone, if the water is rough, the tentacles can break apart and they can continue to sting even while unattached. The sting is very painful and can leave scars on people with more sensitive skin."

Also according to the RIDEM press release: “A Portuguese Man o' War sting should be treated by carefully remove remaining tentacles with fine tweezers or with a gloved hand (a plastic bag works in a pinch) and rinsing the affected area with white vinegar to prevent any remaining stinging cells from firing. Then, soak the skin in hot but not scalding water (110 – 113F) or take a hot shower for at least 20 minutes. The heat will denature the protein in the venom. If symptoms do not go away or pain gets worse, contact a healthcare provider.”

Parks staff will be monitoring all beaches for signs of the Portuguese Man o' War in the coming days.

The Town of Jamestown Parks & Recreation Department is announcing that it will be flying purple flags at Mackerel Cove Beach warning swimmers of the presence of the Portuguese Man o' War, a dangerous sea creature with long tentacles and a painful sting. The Parks & Recreation Department first received reports 6 PM yesterday of the presence of Portuguese Man o' War’s that had washed ashore during low tide. (see picture next page). A purple flag means that swimmers should swim at their own risk.

According to a press release from the RIDEM, “Although referred to as a jellyfish, the Portuguese Man o' War actually is a siphonophore, a colony of different organisms working together as one and specialized to live in the water column. It is a predatory species. It uses its feeding tentacles to sting and paralyze small fishes, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.”

"What often is the case at this time of year is that a warm core ring has peeled off from the Gulf Stream and come close to the Rhode Island coast," said Jason McNamee, DEM Deputy Director for Natural Resources and a marine biologist. "It likely has brought in a slug of warm water that can contain all manner of interesting creatures. These marine events are usually short-lived."

The Parks & Recreation Department is cautioning swimmers to swim at their own risk and remain alert if they choose to enter the water. The tentacles of the man o' war can grow to 30 feet and longer. They "contain stinging nematocysts, microscopic capsules loaded with coiled, barbed tubes that deliver venom capable of paralyzing and killing small fish and crustaceans," according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"If swimmers see something that looks like a balloon floating on top of the water, they should stay far away," said McNamee. "Once the man o' war gets into the surf zone, if the water is rough, the tentacles can break apart and they can continue to sting even while unattached. The sting is very painful and can leave scars on people with more sensitive skin."

Also according to the RIDEM press release: “A Portuguese Man o' War sting should be treated by carefully remove remaining tentacles with fine tweezers or with a gloved hand (a plastic bag works in a pinch) and rinsing the affected area with white vinegar to prevent any remaining stinging cells from firing. Then, soak the skin in hot but not scalding water (110 – 113F) or take a hot shower for at least 20 minutes. The heat will denature the protein in the venom. If symptoms do not go away or pain gets worse, contact a healthcare provider.”

Parks staff will be monitoring all beaches for signs of the Portuguese Man o' War in the coming days.

manowar


Return to full list >>