Warning issued as Portuguese man-of-war spotted at some Rhode Island beaches

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management shares this photo of a Portuguese man-of-war.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Department of Environmental Management is warning beachgoers of Portuguese man-of-war.

The Department of Environmental Management said Tuesday several man-of-wars were spotted at Scarborough, Roger Wheeler, and East Matunuck beaches this week.

Purple flags will be flown at state beaches to warn swimmers of the dangers of the jellyfish-like creature.

According to the National Ocean Service, the man-of-war is a species of siphonophore. It has tentacles that average 30 feet long but can extend to about 100 feet. While their stings rarely kill people, they’re very painful.

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