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PERIL IN THE ROCK-POOLS.

Byline: By ED BAKER

ALTHOUGH I was secretly relieved gales had ruled out going out in a boat in the hunt for one of the most dangerous visitors to our shores, I soon found myself in the thick of it.

I rolled up my trousers and nervously trod through the rock-pools of Kimmeridge Bay looking for a Portuguese Man O' War.

Like an English Jacques Cousteau, I peered through the murky sea water looking for the distinctive pale blue inflatable sacs.

The tide was high and a strong wind was coming in from the South West - perfect conditions to find them.

As I gingerly stepped through clumps of seaweed and kelp I spotted other marine life - crabs scuttling under yellow sandstone rocks and floating cuttlefish bones.

Then in one rock-pool my eye was caught by what looked like a partially deflated balloon - a Portuguese Man O' War no less.

The almost translucent sac was about four inches long and pulsated slightly.

With an empty icecream container I carefully scooped it up and examined it more closely.

It looked like the creature had lost most of its tentacles and had been blown onto the rocks quite recently.

Just when I thought it might be safe to stay in the water I noticed a second balloon-like object floating behind me.

Luckily, I turned round in time to scoop it into the same container. After poking at it with my pen I realised it was dead.

Further out in the bay windsurfers made the most of the winds, possibly unaware of the lethal fleet among them.

FLUTHER or smack is the collective noun for a group of jellyfish. If stung, remain calm, submerge the wound in hot water and seek medical attention.

MAN O' WAR is so named for its air bladder, which looks similar to the triangular sails of the Portuguese ship Caravela latina (man-of-war) of the 15th and 16th centuries.

CAPTION(S):

JELLY AND I SCREAM Mirrorman Ed Baker rolls up his trousers for a cautious inspection of the rock-pools of Kimmeridge Bay; WHERE JELLYFISH HAVE BEEN FOUND
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 13, 2008
Words:347
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