A warning is in place for all visitors to Gwynedd beaches to be extremely vigilant whilst visiting the coastline due to the numbers of Portuguese Men-o-War that have been washed up on our shores recently.

The sea creatures have been ‘blown into British waters from the Atlantic’ by winds caused by Hurricane Ophelia. The creatures, which are known as ‘floating terrors’, can deliver a painful sting, which in rare cases have proved to be fatal to humans and animals.

The sting is ‘unbelievably painful’

The creatures are blue and purple in colour, and have many hanging tentacles that are typically over ten meters long. It can look a bit like a deflating purple balloon with blue ribbons attached, so can look fascinating but it’s important that you do not touch it.

The sting has been described as being ‘unbelievably painful’ and leaves whip-like, red welts on human skin.

Barry Davies, Gwynedd Council Maritime Officer said: “If you come across a Portuguese Man-o-War, please do not touch it. The tentacles are toxic and will cause a painful sting.

“If anyone gets stung, please seek medical help immediately and report the incident to the Maritime and Country Park Service.”

Gwynedd Council have urged the public to take care whilst visiting beaches.

Report Any Sightings

Please report any sightings to Gwynedd Council’s Maritime and Country Parks Service on 01758 704 066.