Jellyfish get in the swim with summer tourists

Purple flags have been waving along Navarre Beach for a good part of the summer, alerting swimmers to “dangerous marine life” in the Gulf of Mexico.

Although no one keeps official records on jellyfish stings, lifeguards at Pensacola Beach said they have been consoling and treating dozens of victims daily through most of July. August began similarly. The Santa Rosa Island Authority has been flying the purple warning flags almost constantly, said Bob West, safety director at the Santa Rosa Island Authority.

“I don’t fly the purple flags for sharks,” he said, explaining that the famous predators with the familiar fins are “always out there.” But they’re usually farther from shore than the jellyfish and are rarely seen by people except from boats, piers or aircraft.

Read the full story in the Aug. 6 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.


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