HONOLULU (KHON2) – Lifeguards found thousands of Portuguese man o’ wars on Windward beaches this morning.
Although there were signs posted at Kailua Beach, there were still dozens of people in the water.
One Hawaii visitor says she wasn’t even in the water when she was stung by a Portuguese man o’ war.
“We were just walking along the water and all of a sudden I felt something just wrap around my foot,” said Veronica Pope. “It just was this weird like pain. I was like ‘Ow, get it off.'”
She, like many others, turned to the lifeguards for help.
One lifeguard said at his tower alone, he treated about 50 people with stings. He said they were using a vinegar solution to dull the pain of the stings.
Many others saw the stinging creatures and decided not to swim.
“I was just walking down the beach toward Lanikai about maybe 500 yards and I saw maybe five or six man o’ wars lying on the beach,” said Eva Fischer.
“They’re not big, they’re really small, you could really overlook them and accidentally step on them.”Eva Fischer, Beachgoer
Andrew Rossiter, Director of the Waikiki Aquarium says the influx is unusual.
“My belief is they actually were blown in from way, way offshore where they’re usually found by the winds of last week,” said Rossiter.
He thinks the creatures should be gone in a couple of weeks, but until then, he warns beachgoers to watch out.
“If you are on the other side of the island be very very careful where you step because even though they may look dead on the beach, the stings are still active,” said Rossiter.