Portuguese man o' war washing up on area beaches

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The winds from Tropical Storm Bonnie aren’t only causing the threat of rip tides this Memorial Day Weekend, but the conditions are also moving dangerous marine creatures closer to the coast. 

The Portuguese man o' war was washing up on northeast Florida on Saturday.

These man o' war have been seen in Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine Beach and at Little Talbot Island State Park. 

Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue treated one person for a man o' war sting Saturday, and more could pop up. 

“You want to be careful, don’t touch them, they look somewhat harmless like a little balloon sitting there, kids will try to play with them because they think they are a little toy balloon, don’t touch them, the tentacles can still sting you, even after you have been on the beach for several hours,” said Dr. Quinton White, executive director of Marine Science Research Institute at Jacksonville University. 

The message here is to not touch any of these man o' wars, even if they look dead. If more of these come closer to coast in more prominent numbers, lifeguards will fly a purple flag to indicate dangerous marine life. 

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