PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Jellyfish have been hitting South Florida beaches in near record numbers. But that hasn't stopped beach visitors from enjoying the summer fun.
"In probably the past two weeks we get…moon jellyfish," said Lifeguard Mike Castillo. "They look like a big bucket cap."
Though not the most dangerous fish in the sea, the jellies do have a particularly unpleasant sting.
"They come and have tentacles on the bottom of them that get people pretty bad," said Castillo. "It's like a welt-y rash you get."
But the very real danger posed by the slimy sea creature's sting just can't compete with the lure of a sunny day on the beach or dip in the water.
"Not even sharks. We'll still go in the water, no matter what," said skim boarder Carlos Narvaez. "It's part of the sport you know. Every sport has the hazard part about it...so we'll do it."
It's a devil-may-care attitude echoed up and down the beach by young and old alike.
"They'll come up here, and I'll see people poking at them with a stick," Castillo said. "It just breaks it up and makes it worse."
With so many of the tentacle terrors flooding the shallows, there's almost no way to avoid them.
"It was floating," Narvaez said. "I almost landed on it actually, put it on my board, and brought it out."
And short of closing the beach, there's really no way to protect visitors -- other than raising the flag.
"We just let them know with the flag, and write about it on the boards," Castillo said. "We have spray if they get hit. It's not that bad. Just more annoying and painful than anything else... it's not too serious."
Jellyfish are said to be causing problems up the east coast, and as far north as the beaches of South Carolina as well.
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