Red flag flying

There was no one in the sea on this bright day, despite some good surfing waves, and the lifeguards were patrolling the beach warning people to stay out of the water. At first we thought it was because of the very strong winds, but after discovering a Portuguese man-of-war on the sand we realised why the red flag was flying. During September and October hundreds of these poisonous siphonophores have washed up on both the north and south coast of Cornwall and although not life-threatening to most people those purple-blue tentacles can give a nasty sting. We found more on Trevaunance Cove near St Agnes about a week later.


  1. pommepal says:

    Didn’t think you would get those in UK Jude. We have had a few iriukanji deaths on our beaches usually elderly tourists that die of a heart attack after being stung. Like the composition, the red flag really catches the eye

  2. Lovely photo Jude, not so lovely creature. They are related to our blue bottles, which tend to blow into shore on windy days. Their sting is very painful too.

  3. A great triangle of details: the vehicle, the flag and the lighthouse. And then the neatly diagonal fence.

    1. Heyjude says:

      You see more than I do. I just know I liked the way this looked through the viewfinder 🙂

      1. Isn’t that what photos are for? To see more than the eye.

  4. Joanne Sisco says:

    A very good reason to stay out of the water. I’d respect the red flag 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I only go in ankle deep anyway, but that doesn’t help when they get washed up onto the shore.

      1. Joanne Sisco says:

        Ugh – I’m thinking that couldn’t smell very good 😖

        1. Heyjude says:

          Didn’t notice any bad smells. But then I only found one on each beach. Apparently there were around 500 washed up down the coast.

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