Swimmers hospitalised following invasion of Lion’s Mane jellyfish

The Lion's Mane jellyfish at Blackrock this week (Photo: Ellie Concannon)

Galway City Tribune – Three swimmers are understood to have been hospitalised after being stung during an invasion of potentially deadly jellyfish in Galway waters during the heatwave over the past three weeks.

Ten of the Lion’s Mane jellyfish were spotted by one member of the Galway Triathlon Club during a 4km swim in Galway Bay, while five were recorded by another swimmer over the same distance, according to one member.

A Lion’s Mane jellyfish at Blackrock on Monday. They have hundreds of tentacles and cause severe stings and are described as “very venomous and very dangerous” by Irish Water Safety. (Video: Ellie Concannon)

Posted by Connacht Tribune – Galway City Tribune on Wednesday, June 13, 2018


One woman was stung in the face on Saturday, prompting the lifeguard on duty at Blackrock to raise the red flag, advising people not to enter the water. The other two males were reportedly stung last Tuesday.

Chairman of the Galway Triathlon Club Art Naughton said they cancelled their regular Wednesday swim as a result.

“We’d have a minimum of 100 swimmers of all ages for our sea swim, so the chances of somebody being stung would be very high. We definitely won’t be resuming the swims until we know they’re gone,” he told the Galway City Tribune.

“We’ve told individual members it’s up to them, but I’ve never seen anything like this in my 20 years of swimming.”

Irish Water Safety believes that Lion’s Mane Jellyfish has not been seen in Galway Bay for 18 years.

Jasmine Headlam, who has studied treatment for jellyfish stings in the Zoology Department at NUIG, confirmed that a sting from them can cause severe local reactions and extreme pain.
For more on the Lion’s Mane jellyfish in Galway, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.