Swimmers beware: It's jellyfish season. Most stings in the waters off Beaufort County occur in July and August, experts said.
So far, August has been particularly brutal. Since the beginning of the month, the number of stings reported on Hilton Head Island has exceeded the five-year average for the same time period by 30 percent, said Ralph Wagner, director of Shore Beach Service Beach Patrol. Beach Patrol has treated about 12,000 stings so far this year, he said.
Officials at Hunting Island also have noticed a spike in the number of stings reported in the past week, though data for that area were unavailable.
During the past weekend, lifeguards near Coligny and South Forest Beach flew "caution" flags warning swimmers of the summertime pests.
Though the ocean generally is packed with swimmers, many didn't wade past their ankles last weekend out of fear of being stung.
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