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July 19, 2006
Portuguese men-of-war spotted again
PROVIDENCE -- The state Department of Environmental Management issued a warning this afternoon that several Portuguese men-of-war were spotted at beaches in Jamestown and Middletown yesterday.
While none of the sea creatures were detected during checks this morning at Mackerel Cove Beach in Jamestown and Second Beach in Middletown, the DEM is warning swimmers and area lifeguards to be on the lookout.
There were also widespread sightings of the men-of-war last month.
The men-of-war generally stick to warmer waters, but recent weather conditions and ocean currents have pushed the creatures into southeastern New England.
The Portuguese man-of-war, also known as a bluebottle, is actually a floating colony of polyps with a balloon-like sail. Because they cannot propel themselves, they are victims of ocean currents, winds and the tides.
The creatures trails tentacles as long as 30 to 40 feet, which produce a powerful toxin that can be extremely painful and potentially deadly for people who may be allergic.
People are advised not to go near the creatures or touch them, even if they appear to be dead.
Posted by Steve Peoples at 5:54 PM | Permalink
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