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Portuguese man-of-war spotted on Goa beach

The Drishti Marine, Goa Tourism’s beach safety agency has issued an advisory for tourists as well as residents to refrain from venturing into the sea on Baga beach, as lifeguards have spotted a cluster of Portuguese man-of-war, a jelly-like marine organism, washed ashore on the popular beach in north Goa.

The marine organism is commonly known as ‘bluebottle’ or ‘floating terror’.

The bluebottle spotted on Friday were less than an inch in size, said Drishti Marine in its communiction to the State Tourism department.

Drishti Marine has cautioned that the bluebottle could possibly be present in the waters or along the shoreline. Even wading into the waters is not advisable during the monsoon as the sea and weather conditions are not favourable for swimming. While most jellyfish stings are harmless to humans and cause only a mild irritation, species like the bluebottle are venomous and can cause harm on contact.

Even a dead bluebottle washed up on shore can deliver a sting, said the advisory to tourists.

First aid

First aid that can be delivered include washing the stung area with hot water, as heat breaks down the toxins. Vinegar is also known to diffuse the poison present in the tentacles. Ice packs can reduce swelling but a visit to the doctor is recommended, the advisory added.

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