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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 11, 2010

Swarming jellyfish stinging swimmers

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Ala Moana Beach was not closed, but warning signs were posted. Box jellyfish are most common near shore seven to 11 days after a full moon. The last full moon was on Dec. 31.

Photos by ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

The box jellyfish invasion meant disappointment for many who wanted to snorkel at Hanauma Bay over the weekend.

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City officials will decide this morning whether to re-open Hanauma Bay after a box jellyfish invasion kept the beach closed for the past two days.

More than 40 box jellyfish were found in less than an hour yesterday "with countless more spotted floating just offshore," according to the city Emergency Services Department.

"Due to the potential risk to public safety, the city's Parks and Recreation Department along with the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division made the decision to close the bay effective at 7 a.m.," said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department.

Yesterday, 56 box jellyfish and 10 Portuguese man-o'-war were found along Waikk Beach, and one person was treated by lifeguards for a sting.

In less than an hour Saturday, more than 30 people were treated for stings at Hanauma Bay, prompting its closure at 9:30 a.m.

More than 500 box jellyfish also were found on Waikk Beach on Saturday, with more than 50 people requiring treatment for stings.