Local

Jellyfish sting hundreds of people over 2 days on popular SC beaches, officials say

When the beach looks like a jellyfish graveyard

South Beach, located on Hilton Head Island inside Sea Pines, was cluttered with hundreds of dead jellyfish on Jan. 20. Experts say this happens more than we think it does.
Up Next
South Beach, located on Hilton Head Island inside Sea Pines, was cluttered with hundreds of dead jellyfish on Jan. 20. Experts say this happens more than we think it does.

Jellyfish stung more than 700 people off South Carolina beaches area over the weekend, reports the Charleston Post and Courier.

Most of the stings took place Saturday and Sunday and happened at popular beaches in the Charleston area, including the Isle of Palms County Park, said TV station WCBD.

Experts have blamed both jellyfish and Portuguese man-o-wars for the stings, reported WCNC.

TV station WFYY said weather conditions, including coastal winds, are to blame for a seasonal jump in jellyfish stings in August. Up to 20 stings a day are common this time of year off South Carolina beaches, the station reported.

Common or not, WCVI reported the rash of stings caused a drop in swimmers on Sunday.

Reports of the 700-plus stings quickly spread on social media, with people claiming they witnessed stings on Folly Beach, the Isle of Palms and Cherry Grove. Some even posted photos of bumps and redness they blamed on jellyfish.

“My family and I were four of the 300,” posted Joy Gibson on Facebook. “Chance you take when you get in the ocean! Saturday was a crazy day for jellyfish.”

“All my kids got stung...last week,” posted Tiffany Garrett of Lexington, North Carolina. She told the Charlotte Observer her three daughters and one son were stung over two days at Surfside Beach.

“My daughter got stung on her face and neck last Saturday at Sullivan’s (Island), wrote Elizabeth Chellis Mills of Summerville, S.C.

“We saw a few really big ones beached over weekend at Tybee Island. Don’t know count though,” posted Brittney Duncan.

Beach laws on Hilton Head Island, including those protecting wildlife such as sea turtles and sand dollars, and laws prohibiting things like fireworks and alcohol.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs
  Comments