Council warning on dangers of jellyfish

Council warning on dangers of jellyfish
One of the many Portuguese man o' war jelly fish which has washed up on Long Strand, Co Cork, despite the hurricane Ophelia on the way. Picture Dan Linehan

CORK County Council has warned beachgoers to be wary of the Portuguese Man O’ War jellyfish.

The warning states that the Man O’War, which can inflict severe stings, can be found on the shore as well as in the water and that contact should be avoided.

There have been sightings of the jellyfish at Owenahincha in the days since storm Ophelia hit.

The tentacles of this jellyfish, which can be up to 45 metres long, are painfully venomous, according to the National Geographic website.

Dr Tom Doyle, a renowned zoologist from NUI Galway, has also issued the warning for people to be careful, and to report possible sightings.

It’s thought that Ophelia may have pushed the jellyfish onto Irish shores.

Dr Doyle told the Irish Times: “Each tentacle can carry hundreds of thousands nematocysts or stinging capsules, which are just 10 to 20 microns in size and contain a tiny little protective harpoon with venom.”

“The southerly winds we had during Ophelia will have swept many up from the Bay of Biscay area, but as yet we have not received many specific reports.”

Meanwhile, one of the more light-hearted stories from storm Ophelia occured in Courtmacsherry.

A cow, branded with the emergency number 112, gave birth to a male calf during Monday’s storm, who has now been aptly named ‘Ophelia’.

Harold Kingston, a dairy farmer in west Cork, said he doesn’t normally name the male calves, however, given the unique circumstances, he felt it appropriate to name the calf after the storm that swirled throughout the day of his birth.

Harold said that the slates were coming off his roof as he navigated his way from his house to his animal sheds with a builder’s hard hat on.

“I am in the height of calving here because I do winter milk. So because of that I had no major choice, I had to be able to get in and out.

“I found a hard hat that I wore for the day basically because I said it was better to have some protection from whatever came round the corner.”

Harold said he spent most of the day in the shed with 200 of his animals.

“I had all the small ones housed since Sunday and I had moved everything that was likely to take flight.”

Harold shed there were a few hairy moments where he was wondering what to do.

“The wall of the shed was flapping in and out, I thought it was going to take off for a while. I was thinking about moving all of the young calves that were sheltering in the shed, but thankfully it held and everyone in the shed stayed dry.”

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