Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Portuguese men-of-war find on Isle of Wight beach

An Isle of Wight beachcomber has found two Portuguese men-of-war while collecting fossils.

Dick Downes, from Atherfield Point, found the jellyfish-like creatures as he walked along Chale Bay.

The pair died, but Mr Downes plans to put them on display at a local business.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has warned people not to touch them and to seek medical attention if they are stung.

Stings from the creatures can cause severe pain and in very rare cases, death.

Sightings have also been reported along the south coast, recently in West Sussex. The MCA is asking people to contact them if they spot one.

Mr Downes said: "I was out combing for fossils and had some large shopping bags on me. I made sure I was careful not to touch the tentacles.

"One had already had its tentacles chopped off.

"It's not the first time I've seen them. I've been fishing for many years around the world, so was aware of the dangers.

"A few years ago, lots of them turned up on the Isle of Wight's southern beaches.

"When you get strong westerly winds they appear here, normally the gulf stream takes them further north towards Scotland."

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