Three Benidorm beaches have been forced to close to the public after seven people were stung by deadly Portuguese Man O’War jellyfish.
The Costa Blanca resort beaches were temporarily closed after two of the killer jellyfish were spotted in the water.
One of the two was spotted at Mal Pas beach, which is a little cove between Benidorm’s two main beaches, while the second was found at the popular Levante beach.
Portuguese jellyfish are normally seen in their usual breeding ground, which is near the Spanish city of Cadiz, however the Man O’War jellyfish have recently been washing up on shores popular with British holidaymakers.
Seven people are said to have suffered minor stings from the creatures, while five of them were taken to hospital for their injuries.
Monica Gomez, Benidorm’s councillor for beaches, confirmed the incident in a statement, saying:
Benidorm Town Hall activated a Portuguese Man O’War protocol after two were found off town beaches. They were removed by lifeguards.
As a precautionary measure bathing was banned and the red flag hoisted for an hour at the main Levante and Poniente beaches, and for more than two hours at Mal Pas beach.
Seven people were treated for minor stings caused by the jellyfish-like creatures at Mal Pas beach.
Five were taken to Villajoyosa Hospital, as part of protocol and as a precautionary measure.
We have acted swiftly and diligently and banned bathing until we were sure there were no more Portuguese Man O’War in the water.
As reported by The Sun, red flags were erected at both Levante and Poniente beaches, banning members of public from entering the water, however the warning was later lowered to yellow after a boat failed to spot the creatures in the water.
Despite being called Portuguese Man O’ War, the creatures are actually types of siphonophore.
Their tentacles hold coiled, barbed tubes that deliver venom capable of paralysing and killing small fish and crustaceans.
While they aren’t usually deadly to people, they can be highly dangerous to children and elderly people, or anyone with asthma or allergies as they can cause fever, shock and respiratory distress.
One woman was left with painful marks all over her body earlier this month after being stung.
22-year-old Naomi Mateos was swimming at the Puntas de Calnegre beach in Costa del Sol, when she became ‘paralysed’ by a sharp sting.
Let’s hope all seven of the holidaymakers make a full and speedy recovery.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.