Horrific scars suffered by boy, 8, stung by deadly Man o' War on British coast

Posted on 5:39 AM by Sameer Shah

An eight-year-old boy was left in agony with horrific red weals on his leg after being attacked by a Portuguese Man o' War.

Jonathan Asplin was the second swimmer to be hurt in a fortnight, as record numbers of the jellyfish-type creatures appear on beaches in the South and South-West.

The youngster was lucky to get out of the water alive after being stung as he swam in a giant rockpool.

He needed hospital treatment for the sting - and was only spared even more serious injury because he was wearing a cut-off wetsuit which protected the top of his leg.

Jonathan did not see the Man o' War as he swam at Combesgate, near Ilfracombe, North Devon, but was left with livid red marks running above his knee to the middle of his calf.

Men 'o War normally live in warmer waters but can drift North on the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean in the height of summer.

They are not actually jellyfish but floating colonies of closely related animals called hydrozoans which float from the bottom of an 18-inch wide air-filled bladder.

The hydrozoans form a mass of 3ft-long tentacles which give multiple and agonising stings if a swimmer even brushes against them.

The sting can kill through anaphylactic shock and by paralysing swimmers so they drown.

The latest case comes after reports of a massive increase in the numbers of Men o' War spotted off British beaches or washed up on shore.

Jonathan was on holiday from his home in Kent with his mother Carolyn when he went swimming in the pool at the side of the beach at Combesgate.

His grandparents Alan and Jen Forbes helped give him first aid after he was stung on his left leg, and he was then treated at Ilfracombe Hospital.

He needed antibiotics and hydrocortisone cream to reduce the painful inflammation.

His mother Carolyn, aged 33, said: 'It was lucky he was wearing a short wetsuit or it could have been much worse.

'We aren't sure it was a Portuguese Man 'o War but we have looked it up on the internet and the rash on his leg looks as if it was caused by one.'

No Response to "Horrific scars suffered by boy, 8, stung by deadly Man o' War on British coast"