NC coast under purple flag warning after swarms of jellyfish lead to painful stings

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Thursday, August 4, 2022 11:30PM
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Swarms of jellyfish and jellyfish stings were reported in New Hanover County this week at the southeastern beaches, including Carolina Beach.

CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Swarms of jellyfish and jellyfish stings were reported in New Hanover County this week at the southeastern beaches, including Carolina Beach.

Swimmers reported stings on Tuesday and Wednesday prompting lifeguards to fly purple flags, a sign that dangerous marine life has been spotted in the water.

Lifeguards in Pender County have also reported several stings this week.

Jellyfish are not the only danger off the Carolina coast.

According to Ocearch, a great white shark named Breton pinged about 60 miles offshore near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The shark which was tagged in September 2020, weighs more than 1,400 pounds.

Ocearch called the shark's location an "anomaly"' because most great white sharks are found off the northeast coast. According to tracking data from Ocearch, Breton has been swimming in Florida for the past two months.

Ocearch said great white sharks normally migrate between May and June. Breton's movement is the latest they have seen a great white remain in the region.