Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Portuguese Men-of-War Are Still Hanging Around Block Island

A man swimming at the municipal beach on Block Island on Sunday mistook a Portuguese man-of-war for a football that had gotten away from some boys. From the Providence Journal:

"I thought, if I got there first I could toss it" to them, [Joe] Filippone said. As he got closer, he felt something wrapping around his left arm and leg and stinging him.

Filippone, who wasn't too far out in the water, said he walked ashore and started pulling off the tentacles.

"It's a sting like a bee sting, a heavy, heavy bee sting," Filippone said of the pain. …

Lifeguards treated Filippone at the beach's first aid center, applying vinegar to relieve the pain and a mixture of soap and shaving cream. A credit card was used to scrape away tentacle remains.

Filippone was taken to the Block Island Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Filippone said when he arrived at the center his blood pressure had jumped to 210/90 and he was shivering. Doctors applied vinegar and baking soda and gave him Benadryl.

"I still have the strings and scars on my leg, but no more itching and no more burning," he said.

The use of vinegar on man-of-war stings is controversial; some say it aggravates the sting.

The winds shifted and apparently blew the creature, and others if they were there, to the east.

Portuguese men-of-war are generally rare in the northeast. Supposedly they’re drifting north this year because of warmer water temperatures and then spinning out of the Gulf Stream toward New England in warm water eddies.


Blogger Tamara said...

Man-o-war were apparently spotted at South Beach and Moshup Beach on Martha's Vineyard. Fortunately, we had no run ins with the creatures.

9:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker