Massachusetts beach closes a second time due to Portuguese man o’ war sightings

WESTPORT, Mass. — Portuguese man o’ war sightings have once again forced the closure of a southern Massachusetts beach.

The DCR closed Horseneck Beach Station Reservation in Westport at 6 p.m. Sunday due to the presence of man o’ wars and an “intense” rip tide.

The beach is expected to reopen to the public Monday morning following an assessment of the water, the DCR said.

Horseneck Beach already closed once this summer for a man o’ war sighting. The highly venemous ocean predator is sometimes mistaken for a species of jellyfish; however, the man o’ war is a siphonophore that uses its feeding tentacles to sting and paralyze small fish, according to Oceana.

The man o’ war’s sting can be very painful to people, and officials say it is best to avoid swimming when there are large numbers in the area.

Beachgoers should also use caution, as the species has the ability to sting weeks after washing ashore. Though their sting is rarely deadly to people, it packs a painful punch and causes welts on exposed skin.

Harding’s Beach in Chatham was closed to swimmers Saturday afternoon after a number of man o’ wars washed ashore.


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

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