A Barrel jellyfish, which is the largest type to be found in UK waters, was spotted off Goring coast last week (June 17) by Worthing’s on-duty coastal warden. The jellyfish, often known as the ‘Dustbin jellyfish’ due to their large size, is warned to have a ‘nasty sting’ and should not be touched by sea swimmers.
Kellie, the coastal officer who was on her first patrol, said in a written blog that the jellyfish was “quiet common” in UK waters at this time of year. She wrote: “This was a really incredible interaction to have out on the ocean and I feel really lucky to have seen it on my very first patrol.”
The jellyfish can have a width of up to 90cm, making them easy to spot in clear waters. However, even if the jellyfish is no longer alive, it is likely to still have a “nasty”, although not usually harmful, sting and should not be touched.
This is not the first time these giant jellyfish have been spotted along Sussex coastlines, with one huge one being found washed up on the shore in 2018 on Worthing beaches. Reports from 2016 also reported “hundreds” of dead jellyfish being washed up along East Beach in Littlehampton after storms and bad weather.
The NHS advice for people stung by jellyfish remains the same, with very little medical attention needed for most stings. The advice for people who have been stung is as follows:
rinse the affected area with seawater (not fresh water)
remove any spines from the skin using tweezers or the edge of a bank card
soak the area in very warm water (as hot as can be tolerated) for at least 30 minutes – use hot flannels or towels if you cannot soak it
take painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen
The NHS recommend that people stung by jellyfish or other sea creatures should seek immediate medical attention if they have difficulty breathing, chest pain, fits or seizures, severe swelling around the sting, severe bleeding, vomiting or lightheadedness or loss of consciousness.