CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — There's something washing up on area beaches, and reports of their arrival span from Tybee Island to Charleston County. We're talking about the Portuguese Man O' War, and though some sightings haven't been confirmed, marine life experts are advising those swimming wading or walking near the water on South Carolina beaches use caution.
The Tybee Island Marine Science Center reports recent wind from the south pushed the organisms up the coast. Officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources confirm recent sustained onshore winds have temporarily brought the creature to the shores of South Carolina.
Portuguese Man O' War carry a strong sting which can result in the need for medical care. In some cases complications from stings have led to death.
In response to recent confirmed sightings, SCDNR is encouraging beachgoers to be alert to the presence of PMOW. Those visiting Palmetto State beaches should avoid the animal in the water and if it is washed up on the beach.
"Many of us have been stung by a jellyfish, but this is a more serious sting than our common jellyfish. In some cases, complications can occur requiring medical attention." said SCDNR spokesman Phil Maier.
The Portugese Man O’ War has a bright, iridescent and blue float and tentacles.
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