UPDATE (06-11-18): Another 180 jellyfish stings were reported at end of business today by Beach Safety, bringing the three-day total to at least 837.
Earlier reporting below.
Daytona Beach, FL – The jellyfish are dealing the pain at Volusia County’s beaches and it might stay that way in the near future.
Beach Safety Ocean Rescue tells us just over 600 stings were reported by beachgoers over the weekend, with the vast majority coming yesterday. That’s well above normal for an average weekend.
Purple flags which warn swimmers of dangerous marine life were flying throughout the weekend. Those flags will likely stay for at least a few more days, according to VCBS Captain Tammy Malphurs.
“They appear to be the moon jellyfish that’s out there stinging everyone,” Malphurs added. “Even our lifeguards doing the daily drill are getting stung out there.”
Over 550 stings were reported on Sunday by VCBS, with another 107 the day prior.
These kinds of events are hard to predict because it only happens when the ocean wind and current push jellyfish towards shore, but it’s not unusual for it to happen once a year, according to Malphurs.
“We just want to warn people that, if they go in the water that, most likely, they will get stung,” Malphurs stated. “Everyone reacts differently. Some people, it doesn’t bother too much. Others have a worse reaction.”
None of the people who reported being stung needed paramedics to treat them. Most received a white vinegar treatment from VCBS lifeguards before being sent home, with the pain usually receding with time, per Malphurs.
“It’s just more of an irritation than anything,” Malphurs noted. “We do have white vinegar that we keep in our lifeguard trucks and in our [lifeguard] towers, so if you get stung, just flag a lifeguard down.”
Experts say it’s best to not rub the affected area once stung as that can make it worse.
Most of the reported stings have been north of Ponce De Leon Inlet, including in the core parts of Daytona’s beachside.