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Blue bottles wash up on Christchurch beaches

Wednesday, March 08, 2017   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: water, health, environment

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 8th March 2017

Visitors to Christchurch beaches are being warned to watch out for Portugese man o’ war (blue bottle) jellyfish, with hundreds washing up on the city’s beaches over the last week.

The blue bottle jellyfish are a regular summer nuisance in the waters off the city’s coast, and Christchurch City Council coastal park rangers are warning people to stay well away from them.

A blue bottle washed up on the beach.Council Head Ranger Kelly Hansen said the late summer arrival of the blue bottles meant swimmers and beach goers should be extra cautious.

“This is something that happens every year, and over the last week we have had reports of the blue bottles from Sumner to North Beach near New Brighton. We would just warn people to be careful around the bluebottles, as the sting is particularly painful and can be very dangerous to some people, including children.”

The bluebottle is distinguishable by its float or bladder which looks like a little balloon and can be popped if stood on.

The main risk associated with the blue bottle was its venomous tentacles that can deliver a painful - and sometimes fatal - sting, which manifests as red, whip-like welts on the skin.

Generally, contact with the tentacles will cause a sharp, excruciatingly painful sting and will leave red welts on the skin which normally last about 2-3 days. The intense pain should subside after about one hour.

Ms Hansen said if someone developed symptoms of a serious allergic reaction after a sting, an ambulance should be called immediately.

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