Keep your eyes peeled: Paddle-boarder's message to swimmers after spotting large jellyfish at Roker

Credit Amy Martin (for future reference she does not want her surname online.)
The jellyfish is thought to be a lion's mane species, which can often be spotted off the UK coast in the summer. Credit: North East paddle-boarder

A paddle-boarder has warned others to "keep their eyes peeled" after spotting a huge jellyfish on the North East coast.

The sea creature, believed to be a lion's mane jellyfish, was seen off Roker Beach, Sunderland at about 8pm on Monday 11 July. 

A Sunderland paddle-boarder was watching dolphins with friends in the North Sea when she noticed the creature not far from shore due to its "unusual colour, shape and size".

She said there were mixed feelings when they realised it was a jellyfish and though the group were on paddle-boards they remained careful around it.

"We just sat and watched it as it was really interesting," she said. "Majestic in the way it moved through the water. It was really beautiful."

The paddle-boarder told ITV News Tyne Tees she wanted others in the sea to be cautious as lots of people swim in the sea at this time of year wearing only swimming costumes.

She said: "It is jellyfish season and we get lots of those blue ones all down the coast, but from what I understand the sting is a lot less than a lion's mane.

"It was to warn people to be careful as obviously the sting would hurt."

What to do if you get stung by a jellyfish

The RNLI's advice if you stung is:

Scrape off any remaining tentacles: Make sure you remove any tentacles still attached to your body. Try not to accidentally rub them into your skins as this will cause more damage.

Apply cold sea water: This should help alleviate the pain.

Avoid applying fresh water or cold packs: This will not do anything to help and could make it more painful.

Monitor the sting: Monitor the sting for about half an hour to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction.

What is a lion's mane jellyfish?

Lion's mane jellyfish get their name from the hair-like tentacles which form a ring around its body.

The brown and red coloured creature can often be spotted off the UK coast during the summer months.

According to the RNLI, who lifeguard many of the beaches in the North East, to reduce the likelihood of a sting those in the water should try and avoid exposing skin.

The organisation recommends wearing wetsuits and rash vests while in the water.

The paddle-boarder said she did not want to "scare anybody off going in the sea" but to "be aware at this time of year, they [the jellyfish] come in quite shallow to the shore".