Portuguese man-of-war invasion closes popular Oahu tourist attraction

Jean-Marc Arsan
Jean-Marc Arsan
Sage Gill
Sage Gill

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HANAUMA BAY (KHNL) - A Portuguese man-of-war invasion Thursday, closes a popular tourist attraction on Oahu.

City officials say in less than an hour, thousands were found on the beach with lots more spotted floating just offshore. This left many visitors disappointed.

The Tracy family came all the way from Boston to visit their favorite place in Hawaii, Hanauma Bay.

"We came today because we heard this is the most beautiful place to do our snorkeling and my daughter's wanting to come here for our whole trip, so we come today because we are leaving tomorrow and it's closed, we are disappointed but we also don't want to get hit," visitor Nancy Tracy said.

Jean-Marc Arsan and his friend felt the same way.

"We're very disappointed because we're driving in this car, like it's a very small scooter, which goes like 30 mph, took us 35-40 minutes from Hilton Hawaiian Village, so we're very excited when we came here, but now we're very disappointed," he said.

The Gill family headed here to Kaimana Beach Park in Waikiki, after learning about Hanauma Bay's closure.

But one family member learned about the Portuguese man-of-war the hard way.

"It wasn't that bad, as a bee sting, 'cuz I only got stung by a small one," 9-year-old Sage Gill said. "Pretty much everyone was in the water and there was only pretty much one girl that had this big jellyfish sting, it wrapped around her whole arm."

But Gill wasn't the only one hurt. City officials say nearly a hundred people were stung Thursday. Almost have of those cases came from Kailua Beach.

Officials will make a decision Friday morning whether to open up Hanauma Bay or keep it closed.

For more information, call 922-3888 ext. 51 or visit the website link on this page. Officials also warn people to get ready for the monthly jellyfish invasion Friday.