BEACHGOERS have been warned a potentially deadly fish could be lurking in the sands.

The weever fish, which have venomous spines on their first dorsal fins and gills, have been known to cause heart attacks and anaphylactic shock.

Millom Coastguard Rescue Team have warned of the weevers' presence, with the fish having potential to congregate in large numbers in warm weather.

The team said: “The small, sand-coloured fish bury themselves in the sand and if you stand on them, their dorsal fin embeds into your foot and injects venom which causes the excruciating pain often experienced.

“It is advised that people, especially children, wear waterproof shoes or sandals when walking in shallow water or rocky areas. Or scuff or stamp your feet when walking in shallow water to make sea creatures aware you’re approaching.”

If you are stung, rinse the affected area with seawater, and remove any spines from the skin using tweezers or the edge of a bank card, taking care not to push them deeper – it is important not to touch the spines with your bare hands.

Soaking the area in hot water for 30 minutes, using flannels or towels if unable to soak, will break up the venom.

Those affected should not use vinegar, or pee on the sting.

The fish was discovered near Millom.

Catherine Vance, assistant headteacher at Millom School, posted a picture of a juvenile weever fish after her husband James Vance was shrimping at Eskmeals.

Mrs Vance said: “If you’re unfortunate enough to step on one in bare feet the spines can penetrate the skin and inject a neurotoxin which causes a sharp, painful burning sensation, as my husband found out a few years ago at Drigg!

“As a precaution I’d recommend wearing some kind of foot covering when going in the sea. I never go in without old trainers or sandals on.”