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Water closed at Horseneck Beach due to Portuguese man o’ war, dangerous ocean conditions



Effective immediately, the Department of Conservation and Recreation has implemented a closure of the water off of Horseneck Beach State Reservation in the Town of Westport for the remainder of the day due to a Portuguese man o’ war sighting, as well as dangerous ocean conditions, including hazardous rip currents.

The beach and parking areas remain open to the public.

Unless otherwise posted, the water is expected to reopen to the public tomorrow morning following an assessment of the water area. For their safety, visitors of the reservation are asked to observe all DCR lifeguard and staff instructions.

The NOAA offers the following description of Portuguese man o’ war.

“The Portuguese man o’ war is recognized by its balloon-like float, which may be blue, violet, or pink and rises up to six inches above the waterline. Lurking below the float are long strands of tentacles and polyps that grow to an average of 30 feet and may extend by as much as 100 feet. The tentacles contain stinging nematocysts, microscopic capsules loaded with coiled, barbed tubes that deliver venom capable of paralyzing and killing small fish and crustaceans. While the man o’ war’s sting is rarely deadly to people, it packs a painful punch and causes welts on exposed skin.”

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