'Do not touch' - Warning as Portuguese man o'war found on Devon beaches

Kayaker Samantha Barnes spotted the creature in the water in August. Credit: Samantha Barnes

People are being warned after a number of Portuguese Man O'War have been spotted on beaches in Devon.

The unusual sea creatures, which look similar to a jellyfish, have been found across some of the sandy shorelines of the South Hams.

Beach-goers are being reminded to avoid touching them as their sting packs a nasty punch.

South Hams District Council (SHDC) has taken to social media warning locals and visitors of the Portuguese Man O'War which can rarely be "deadly".

In a statement on Facebook, a SHDC spokesperson said: "Portuguese Man O'War have been spotted on South Hams' beaches.

"These colourful and fascinating animals are closely related to jellyfish, with a translucent purple float, tipped with pink, and long blueish-violet tentacles.

"While they are rarely deadly, they do give a very nasty sting even long after they are dead. This sting can cause painful swelling welts when in contact with the skin."

People are being advised to keep children and dogs away and not to touch if they do see one and to report sightings to the Devon Wildlife Trust.