South Carolina officials are warning beachgoers to watch their steps as Portuguese Man o’ Wars are washing onshore.
Local news sources report the venomous creatures turned up on Sullivans Island last month, prompting a warning by a local administrator.
Mike Wagner, operations manager of Hilton Head Island Shore Beach Services, said the Man o’ Wars are probably coming ashore due to prevailing southeast winds.
Man o’ Wars have also shown up on the north end of Myrtle Beach.
Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue has received many calls this week for Portuguese Man o’ Wars that have washed up on local beaches.
MBFR asks if you see these jellyfish-like creatures on the beach, don’t touch them. Inform a lifeguard or beach patrol member to make sure it gets disposed of properly.
A Man o’ Wars has long, venomous tentacles that are powerful enough to kill fish. Even if the creature is dead, it can still sting whatever it comes in contact with. Reggie Williams of Ripley’s Aquarium said while the sting is rarely deadly for humans, it is extremely painful and can last from a few minutes to a few weeks.