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Jellyfish return to southeast coast

Perfect conditions for stinging sea creatures - known in France as méduses - prompts warning to bathers

JELLYFISH have are returning to the coast of southeast France and could cause problems for swimmers.

Jellyfish stings - particularly from the Pelagia noctiluca, which is common in Mediterranean waters - can cause an itching, burning sensation and can cause real distress for both children and adults.

L'observatoire des méduses de Méditerranée reported that jellyfish have been spotted between Cassis and Ramatuelle, while Var Matin said on Monday that several people have been stung on the beaches of Six-Fours, especially at Charmettes du Cros and Coudoulière.

Anti-jellyfish nets have been installed at three Cannes beaches - Gazagnaire à l'est, Macé sur la Croisette and Roubine à La Bocca.

Robert Calcagno, director of the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, told France Info: “Jellyfish blooms around the world are now more regular and intense.”

He said that they used to occur along the Mediterranean coast of France once every few years. Now, they're an annual event.

Ironically, plastic pollution has helped the jellyfish. Not only has it reduced the number of competitors for its foodsource, plankton, but it also provides a perfect nursery at sea for young animals.

If stung, the main danger is that a swimmer will panic and risk drowning. Therefore, the best advice is to get out of the water quickly. Rinse the affected area with seawater – never freshwater as this sets off the stinging cells anew – and do not rub with sand as this will set off the stinging cells.
If there is still a portion of tentacle on the skin, pull it off with a gloved hand then gently scrape the skin with the flat of a knife or a bank card to get rid of any remaining stinging cells.
Pour warm water over the wound as this eases the pain – but take care not to scald as the skin has been desensitised by the sting.
Finally, take an anti-inflammatory.

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