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Appeal for renewed awareness of jellyfish

14 August 2015

​Swimmers and beach-goers have been reminded to remain alert for the possibility of jellyfish stings along Jersey’s north coast.

After an initial warning from the Department of the Environment and Environmental Health on July 31, following similar issues in the south-west of England and northern France, there have been continued reports of jellyfish stings for swimmers along the north coast of the Island. Some swimmers have received multiple stings, prompting the renewed warning and work to erect signs at harbours and beaches along the affected stretch of coastline.

“It’s important that those who swim or spend time on the beach are aware that jellyfish remain present in the waters around Jersey and that there is a risk of being stung, especially along the north coast,” said Stewart Petrie, Head of Environmental Health. “There are far more jellyfish than might normally be expected, and while they are highly unlikely to have serious consequences, stings can be painful, particularly for anyone who receives multiple stings.

“Parents should keep an eye out for children who are not confident swimmers and may be alarmed if they are stung while swimming, while young children who see a jellyfish on the shoreline should be told not to touch any part of it – both the body and the tentacles are capable of delivering stings, and dead jellyfish can still sting. Dog walkers should also be aware.”

Advisory signs

Officers from Environmental Health and the Department of the Environment are working closely with colleagues at Jersey Coastguard to raise awareness of the risk of being stung, and of how to deal with stings. Advisory signs are to be erected by Transport and Technical Services in the coming days.

​The following advice is recommended for those who have been stung:

  • ​Get out of the water

  • Slowly pour seawater over the sting to help ease the pain

  • Apply a ‘cold compress’ (ice wrapped in a cloth)

  • Local anaesthetic gels and other forms of pain relief can be obtained from a pharmacy should the pain persist

  • Avoid the use of urine or vinegar – this is no longer recommended by experts and may discharge the nematocysts – the cause of the sting – and potentially cause further stings

  • S​hould anyone require emergency assistance, dial 999

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