Jellyfish invasion
arrives early

Lifeguards close parts of Waikiki
Beach due to the threat of stings

More box jellyfish are expected today than during yesterday's unexpectedly massive influx.

Lifeguards shut down portions of Waikiki Beach yesterday morning after the surprise arrival of about 1,000 box jellyfish.

"We kind of got fooled," Jim Howe, Ocean Safety Division operations chief, said yesterday. "We were not anticipating the major influx until tomorrow, and it showed up today."

Ron Klukososki, visiting from New Jersey, napped under yellow caution signs yesterday at Waikiki Beach. The surprise arrival of about 1,000 box jellyfish forced lifeguards to close portions of the beach. More box jellyfish are expected today.

The normal box jellyfish cycle lasts three days, beginning seven days after a full moon, which was May 5, which would have made the peak influx tomorrow.

"The first day, we may see a smattering, then it grows, peaks, then drops off," Howe said.

Three people were taken to the hospital yesterday for treatment, Howe said.

Ocean Safety shut down two lagoon areas of Kuhio Beach Park between the Kapahulu groin and the Duke Kahanamoku statue.

"Nearly every person going into the water was getting stung," Howe said. "People were lined up six deep at the tower waiting for guards to come on duty."

About 30 box jellyfish washed up on Ala Moana Beach.

People allergic to jellyfish stings should stay out of the water, the Ocean Safety Division said.

Ocean Safety recommends treating stings by applying lots of vinegar to the affected areas, and seeking medical attention in cases of severe reactions.


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