Portuguese man o’war found on an Orihuela beach

Local Police and Civil Protection are checking the coast by land and sea

It is prohibited to swim in the sea at the beaches of Orihuela for the moment. The Town Hall put up the jellyfish warning flags on Sunday all along the coast after four Portuguese man o’wars were spotted. Two were seen at La Caleta (Cabo Roig) and two more at Cala Capitán.

Councillors Luisa Boné and Víctor Valverde announced on Tuesday they are closing the coast for now as a “precautionary measure” to protect people’s safety and the image of Orihuela’s beaches. They want to avoid scenes like in Elche last weekend when a boy had to be hospitalised after being stung by a Portuguese man o’war at La Marina. The jellyfish flag is being flown because the red flag cannot be as there is no lifeguard service on the beaches at the moment.

The councillors explained that on Monday the Local Police and personnel from the lifeguard company Ambumar were inspecting the whole coast to check for Portuguese man o’wars by land and at sea on jet-skis. From Tuesday a team of Civil Protection will be checking from 10am to 6pm.

Boné confirmed the jellyfish flag will be flown for a few days until no more are seen. “We want the danger to have passed so for safety we think it is better to keep them,” she said.

Although it is not yet known if the swimming ban will be lifted by the weekend, Boné indicated the lifeguard service will begin from Friday at weekend from 9:30am to 5:30pm until June 15th when it will be 7 days a week and for longer hours.

These jellyfish like creatures have been keeping the beaches of Alicante province on tenterhooks. Pilar de la Horadada was warning swimmers on Monday after prohibiting swimming on Sunday. Guardamar and Torrevieja have also had to close part of their coasts to swimming due to the presence of this marine species that looks like a violet, transparent bag with long, stinging tentacles that are dangerous to humans.