Visitors to north Essex's beaches have been warned to take care following a jellyfish invasion off the coast.

Tendring Council issued the warning after it was made aware of scores of the creatures being spotted in the sea off Bateman’s Tower, Brightlingsea.

Residents and visitors have been urged to be careful and look where they are walking to avoid being stung.

A spokesman for Tendring Council said: “We’ve been made aware of a number of jellyfish in the waters around Brightlingsea, which may, of course, be carried elsewhere by the tides and currents.

“Please be careful and look where you’re walking and if you are stung follow advice from the NHS.”

Juliette Heppell, who runs the Brightlingsea Beach School, which teaches youngsters about marine wildlife, said she found five jellyfish near the paddling pool at Bateman’s Tower while exploring with her daughter Josie, 11.


  • Josie Heppel, 11, holds a jellyfish

“It is the time of year that we usually get jellyfish but we haven’t seen much more than normal,” she said.

“But some of them have gone into the paddling pool, which a lot of little children use, which may have caused concern.

“We found a compass jellyfish, which do sting.Some people feel it is like a nettle sting or a cat scratch but most people feel nothing. My kids pick them up all the time.

“The only real surprise was to find a blue jellyfish, which we only usually get during hot summers.

“It does sting, it can feel like a bee sting, but people shouldn’t be overly concerned unless they have an allergy or thin skin.

“Mainly we found moon and crystal jellyfish which we see all the time and they don’t sting at all.”

A Tendring District Council spokesman said the appearance of a jellyfish bloom was not something to worry about.

“As a coastal district, this sort of natural event shows the good health our waters are in,” he added.

“However, jellyfish stings can of course be rather painful and so we’re encouraging people to take care if entering the sea or walking along the water’s edge.”

The NHS said most stings from sea creatures in the UK are not serious and can be treated with first aid, although sometimes people may need to go to hospital.

If help is not available, people are advised to rinse the affected area with seawater, remove any spines from the skin using tweezers or the edge of a bank card and to soak the area in very warm water for at least 30 minutes.

People can also take painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen.

If you have been stung and have difficulty breathing, chest pain, fits or seizures, severe swelling around the affected area, severe bleeding, vomiting or loss of consciousness to to A and E or dial 999.

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