Organisers call off pub raft race following rise in jellyfish attacks

Jellyfish signs by Stoke Lake
Jellyfish signs by Stoke Lake
Stoke Road, Gosport. Picture: Google Maps

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  • Rise in jellyfish attacks in Stoke Lake, Alverstoke leads to postponement of pub raft race
  • Number of injuries reported in recent weeks
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A NUMBER of jellyfish attacks in a lake has led to a highly-anticipated charity raft race being called off.

The Fighting Cocks pub in Alverstoke was set to host the event on Stoke Lake today.

We can’t just blame the jellyfish but after hearing about some of the injuries, we decided it would be best to call it off

Abby Thomson, event organiser

But after months of planning, warnings about barrel jellyfish and adverse weather conditions have led to the event being cancelled.

Gosport Borough Council warned the organisers earlier this week that there would be safety concerns regarding the race and warning signs were put up by the lake.

After deliberating about the risks and hearing of a number of incidents in which residents were being stung, the organisers decided to pull the event and to reschedule it for next August.

Event organiser Abby Thomson, who has been working with the pub to put on the race said they were ‘very disappointed’ to have pull the plug.

She said: ‘We can’t just blame the jellyfish but after hearing about some of the injuries, we decided it would be best to call it off.

‘It was going to be a great day and we have been planning it all since last Christmas but, with the added poor weather, it seemed a safe bet not to go ahead.’

The event, which was in aid of Gafirs and Gosport Sea Cadets was expecting crowds of 150 people.

Stevyn Ricketts, head of streetscene at Gosport Borough Council said that the signs had been put up after a number of incidents in recent weeks.

He said: ‘Residents 
nearby have said that the 
jellyfish have always been there but recently the incidents have led to us to putting warning signs up.’

Keith Thomas, chairman of Gafirs said: ‘It is a real shame that the charity event had to be 
called off, but the safety of those in the water is our prime concern.

‘The adverse weather conditions and the threat of these jellyfish stinging participants means it’s a sensible decision to call it off.

‘We’re very grateful for the support of local businesses.’