Warning to anyone going to the beach over the weekend

Hidden: The weever fish hides in the sand
Hidden: The weever fish hides in the sand

Parents are being advised to protect their children from a venomous fish that hides beneath the sand.

The lesser weever fish only gets as big as 6 inches, but can be extremely painful to those who come in contact with the venomous spines along it's dorsal fin.

The fish buries itself in the sand with only it's dorsal fin and eyes exposed.

John Leech from the Irish Water Safety Authority advised parents to be aware the fish's presence.

“It’s when the beach is totally exposed and when the children are down playing there – that’s when people are most at risk,” Leech said.

And we’ve spring tides at the weekend because on Tuesday we’ve a new Moon – and that means with so many people on the beaches over the bank holiday weekend we’re likely to get some stings, so we’re trying to raise awareness to keep people off the beaches from swimming about an hour to two hours either side of low water

Last weekend, Fiona Lagan from Dungiven alerted parents to the danger when her four-year-old daughter, Maisie, was stung on Bennone beach near Giant's Causeway.

“I would just encourage anyone going to the beach to think about getting a pair of jelly shoes or an old pair of trainers for the kids, just in case, she said.

“The treatment is fairly simple if you are unlucky enough to be stung. Just soak your foot in as warm of water as you can stand and that helps get rid of the toxins. That’s what the lifeguards did and within about fifteen minutes Maisie was like a different child" added Mrs Lagan.


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