Massachusetts beach closes Monday following Portuguese man o’ war sighting

WESTPORT, Mass. — A Massachusetts beach has been closed for the day after a Portuguese man o’ war sighting, officials said.

The highly venomous ocean predator was spotted at Horseneck Beach State Reservation in Westport, according to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Dangerous rip currents also factored into the decision to close the beach.

The Portuguese man o’ war is a predatory species that uses its feeding tentacles to sting and paralyze small fish, according to Oceana. Additionally, the Portuguese man o’ war is not a jellyfish, but rather a siphonophore.

This species’ sting can be very painful if encountered by people. When there are large numbers of individuals in an area, officials say it’s best to avoid swimming.

The water is expected to reopen to the public on Tuesday following an assessment of the area.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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