HONOLULU, Oct. 14 (UPI) — Swimmers were warned away from some of Hawaii’s most celebrated beaches this week as thousands of box jellyfish washed ashore, Honolulu officials said.
At least 174 people were treated for stings Tuesday, KITV in Honolulu reported. One man was hospitalized for breathing difficulties and was reported to be in stable condition.
The box jellyfish hit the beaches of Oahu every month, a week or so after the full moon. The jellyfish are distant cousins of Chironex fleckeri, the lethal box jellyfish of northern Australia that is one of the world’s most venomous animals.
About 2,000 jellyfish appeared this month at Waikiki and Ala Moana Beach Park. Bryan Chaplie, a spokesman for the Honolulu Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division, said Tuesday was likely to be the peak, with fewer jellyfish as the week goes on.
“Ocean Safety personnel would like to remind beach-goers to heed all warning signs and to please check with them before entering the water today,” he said.
Lifeguards say stings should be washed out immediately with vinegar. If pain persists or other symptoms appear, victims should get medical help.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International