Jellyfish sting 406 swimmers off New Smyrna Beach

Lifeguards fly purple flags to warn of marine life

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – More than 400 beachgoers were stung by jellyfish in the Atlantic Ocean off New Smyrna Beach over the weekend, according to beach officials.

Volusia County's Beach Safety Ocean Rescue reported 406 jellyfish stings on Saturday and Sunday. Capt. Tammy Marris said purple flags warned beachgoers about the marine life danger. 

On Monday, Ocean Rescue flew the red and purple flag for jellyfish and rip current conditions, but no major incidents involving jellyfish were reported.

"We treat the stings with just plain white vinegar," said Marris.

Marris said lifeguards are equipped with the white vinegar at every lifeguard tower, station and truck. However, it's still unknown what type of jellyfish is stinging folks but  Marris said all the stings have been minor.

Marris also said rip currents and soft sand created problems, too.

Officials said they had to rescue 14 people from rip currents over the weekend, but no one had to be taken to a hospital.

Officials said soft sand -- due to lack of rain -- forced them to close portions of the beach on Sunday.

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