Holidaymakers warned as hundreds of stinging purple jellyfish wash up on UK beach

Hundreds of purple jellyfish have washed up in Southend-on-Sea, Essex (Image: Deborah White / SWNS.com)

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Holidaymakers have been warned to be on their guard after hundreds of stinging purple jellyfish washed up on a popular UK beach.

The creatures have been spotted in a "huge swarm" along the shoreline in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

There were reports that multiple children and adults have been stung by the creatures, which belong to the "blue jellyfish" species.

A spokesperson for Southend BeachCare has warned visitors not to touch the brightly coloured jellies and stay away from them.

Photographer Deborah White visited the seafront on Monday and said she saw "hundreds" of jellyfish along a short stretch of the shore.

People have been warned to stay away from the jellyfish
(Image: Deborah White / SWNS.com)

The 46-year-old said: "I was only walking for about ten minutes, and I saw hundreds. It was amazing.

"Some of them were quite small, smaller even than a sandwich plate, and I've had messages from people saying that they or people they knew of had been stung.

"I'd definitely say to be careful if you're going down to the beach."

Some adults and children have been stung by the jellyfish
(Image: Deborah White / SWNS.com)

Jellyfish thrive in warm water and it is thought that this "swarm" travelled up the Thames Estuary in Southend due to the recent warm weather.

A spokesperson for Southend BeachCare said: "There are lots of jellyfish on the beach. Do not touch them or collect them.

"We are lucky to have abundant marine life, so please respect them leave them alone and if stung seek medical attention when necessary."

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The NHS advises that any person who is stung by a jellyfish should rinse the affected area with seawater, but not fresh water.

They should also remove any spines from the skin using tweezers or the edge of a bank card.

It is also important to then soak the area in very warm water – as hot as can be tolerated – for at least 30 minutes, or use hot flannels or towels.

They belong to the 'blue jellyfish' species
(Image: Deborah White / SWNS.com)

People can also take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to help manage the pain.

Last week, a man photographed a giant jellyfish while walking on the beach in Cleveleys, Lancashire.

He shared two photos of the creature on a Facebook group, attracting numerous comments from people who had also seen jellyfish washed up on nearby beaches.

The creature he found was a barrel jellyfish – they usually swarm in warmer coastal waters in late spring and often wash up on UK beaches in May or June.

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