Purple flags across Mass. beaches warn of dangerous jellyfish in the water

Purple flags across Mass. beaches warn of dangerous jellyfish in the water

NAHANT, Mass. — From Nahant to Southie and on down to Plymouth, slimy red colored jellyfish are being spotted in local waters.

“Yes, they are and for the first time they are also in the bay," said Roberta Murphy, of Hull.

They are called lion’s mane jellyfish because their long tenacles resemble the hair on a lion’s back.

Content Continues Below

Normally only seen in the North Atlantic and Arctic, they’ve drifted south and are washing up on beaches from Maine to Massachusetts.

Some swimmers on Friday were unaware the jellyfish were floating around off of Nantasket Beach.

“No, no idea about the jellyfish,” said Kaila Bonavire.

Besides, she and her friend Sami Farina, were not too concerned.

“No I dove in, I was swimming," said Farina. "I was totally fine just enjoying it and didn’t get stung luckily.”

“But some people have they stepped on them and it’s my understanding if you step on a dead one on the beach you can still get some stinging," said Murphy.

Scientists are not sure why so many lion’s mane jellyfish have ventured south.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation posted purple flags at Nahant Beach were put up to warn swimmers of dangerous marine life.

Still, with summer at hand no one was willing to stay out of the water all day, especially after being locked inside for months.

“I’ll be alert, I’ll be careful but I love the water,” said Murphy.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation issued an advisory on June 18 alerting residents of beaches where the jellyfish were spotted. Beachgoers are urged to take caution when going in the water at the following beaches:

  • Nahant Beach
  • Constitution Beach
  • Scusset Beach
  • King’s Beach
  • Winthrop Beach
  • Boston Harbor Islands
  • Revere Beach
  • Nantasket Beach
  • Carson Beach