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Hundreds stung by ‘gorgeous’ man-o-wars on beaches

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Hundreds stung by ‘gorgeous’ man-o-wars on beaches. (WPEC){ }

Ocean Rescue says Man-o-war stung almost 400 people this month alone.

Many of us who live in south Florida know what to do when we see a one, stay away.

But for the people who come here to enjoy the sunshine in the winter, that warning isn’t so clear.

“They look amazing they look gorgeous,” says visitor Lisa Rafel.

Rafel and her husband David Serreada are both from California.

When they come to the Florida beaches they can’t help but look away from the man-o-war.

“They’re really magnificent,” says Rafel.

With their beautiful blue hue and translucent appearance, you can’t blame them for wanting to get a closer look.

“Someone said do not get near them because even though they’re on the beach they can still sting you,” says Rafel.

But not everyone knows that.

So far this month, man-o-war stung almost 400 people, according to the Ocean Rescue Division.

Ocean Rescue Chief Phil Wotton says they’re covering our beaches because strong winds are bringing them to shore.

“The fact that we’ve had onshore breezes for over a week now, we’re not going to see relief until we see fewer winds again,” says Wotton.

Whether you see them or not you’re still in danger.

Their long tentacles can detach from their body and sting you.

“The longer the tentacle is on the skin the more poison is injected into the system,” says Wotton.

“You always hear about someone saying you should pee on it,” says Rafel.

Don’t’ do that, but contact a lifeguard and get the tentacle off as soon as possible.

Deadly stings are rare, but if you do get stung an ointment called sting zapper can help with the pain.

Vinegar or salt also works.

Ocean rescue says take a hot shower if you still have pain when you get home.


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