Posted at 12:40 p.m., Thursday, July 20, 2006
Influx of box jellyfish closes Hanauma Bay
Advertiser StaffHanauma Bay closed today at 11 a.m. after 14 box jellyfish stings were reported within an hour.
Paramedics transported three people to the hospital for allergic reactions to the stings, said Bryan Cheplic, public information officer for the Honolulu Emergency Services Dept. A possible fourth hospital transport may be underway for a 4-year-old girl who was stung at a beach in Ko'olina.
The Ocean Safety Division is issuing a box jelly warning for today and tomorrow. A news release today said that there were more than 1,000 jellyfish picked up early this morning in Waikiki.
"There was a substantial amount" of stings in Waikiki this morning, Cheplic said. "We can't close Waikiki Beach, but we did put up signs."
According to Cheplic, Hanauma Bay was closed this morning because they could lock the entrance gate to keep people from going to the bay, but that's not the case for Waikiki.
Other near-shore waters that have been affected include Poka'i Bay, Makaha Surfing Beach, and Waimea bay.
There has also been occasional sightings and or stings on other north and west shore beaches.
The Ocean Safety Division advises anyone who is stung by a jellyfish to flush the area of the body that was stung with copious amounts of white vinegar. Anyone experiencing breathing difficulty, muscle cramps, spasms, and/or persistent pain are advised to seek immediate medical attention.
Lifeguard stations are supplied and equipped to treat this type of marine sting.
For more information regarding ocean conditions, advisories, and warnings the Ocean Safety Division provides a pre-recorded report that can be accessed 24 hours a day; at 922-3888 ext. 51.