Waikiki lifeguards treat 61 for box jellyfish stings

Luz Elower
Luz Elower
Mila Golijanin
Mila Golijanin

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Box jellyfish continue to linger on Oahu's South Shore, turning a day at the beach into a painful experience for more than 60 people Monday.

After finding hundreds of the stinging creatures in Waikiki Monday morning, city lifeguards kept warning signs up and bottles of vinegar handy.

For visitors to Oahu, there's nothing like a dip in the ocean under the hot Hawaiian sun.

"It's really nice," Mila Golijanin, resident of Canada, said. "This water is fantastic, so warm. It's fantastic and beach is amazing."

Golijanin and many others here on vacation are ignoring the box jellyfish warning signs at Waikiki Beach and taking their chances in the water.

"Who cares about the jellyfish?" Golijanin said before going back into the water.

For some, the adventure comes at a price.

"I saw the sign and I says, well, what do they look like," Luz Elower, resident of California, said. "So I was looking and I didn't see anything, but then all of the sudden, bang."

A lifeguard sprays white vinegar on Elower's arm, after the 76-year-old suffers a painful sting.

"I says, 'Will it be forever?' He says, 'No, about an hour,'" Elower said about her conversation with the lifeguard.

Box jellyfish usually arrive 10 days after a full moon. Ocean safety officials say while the peak influx was expected Sunday, more than 300 of the stinging creatures were discovered in Waikiki Monday morning.

By 3:30 pm, 61 people reported being stung.

"I was so scared from then on, you know," Elower said.

Golijanin says box jellyfish aren't going to keep her from enjoying her first ever trip to Hawaii.

"People are very polite and nice hotel," she said. "Everything is, I'm very impressed, very, very nice."

"So you think the jellyfish are going to be nice, too?" this reporter asked.

"Of course," Golijanin replied while laughing.

Waikiki lifeguards say none of the 61 people treated for stings needed additional medical attention.