THIS creature from the deep startled swimmer Steve Homewood as he took a dip in the sea at the weekend.

The 50-year-old spotted the jellyfish at the water’s edge when he went for a swim off the coast of Seaford on Saturday morning.

Mr Homewood said: “I swam past it as I was coming back in. I knew it was a jellyfish but I did not know what type it was.

“It wasn’t a Portuguese man o’war but I still gave it a wide berth as I was wary it still might sting me.

“It was about two feet in diameter and was still moving. It was very alien looking.

“I was tempted to try to push it back in, but the sea was already pulling it in.”

Mr Homewood, from Lewes, is a keen fisherman and currently writing a book about fishing called Source to Sea.

He said: “I go fishing around here a lot and I often swim as well and I have never seen anything like that before.

“It gave me quite a surprise.”

The creature is believed to be a barrel jellyfish, which can grow up to one metre in diameter.

It does not have fine trailing tentacles like most jellyfish but eight gelatinous 'arms' instead.

It gives a mild sting similar to a nettle.

There have been nine official sightings of jellyfish along the Sussex coast this year.

The Marine Conservation Society has received reports of the creature at Birdham, Bosham, Brighton Marina, Hastings, Ferring, Lancing, Rye, Seaford and West Wittering.

To report jellyfish sightings, visit