Taking the sting out of bathing
Sign of the timesSign of the times

Taking the sting out of bathing

A new jellyfish warning system aims to save beachgoers from one of the discomforts of summer swimming

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A dead jellyfish on the beach. (Uri Lenz/ Flash90)
A dead jellyfish on the beach. (Uri Lenz/ Flash90)

As hordes of jellyfish begin their annual swarm along Israel’s coastline, a new warning system hopes to take the sting out of bathing.

A sign at the entrance to the Beit Yanai beach area in the Nahal Alexander National Park near Netanya now informs visitors of the number of jellyfish in the water, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Monday.

The sign depicts three levels of danger in a cartoon representation of what lurks beneath the waves: no jellyfish, some jellyfish, and lots of jellyfish.

For a few weeks every summer jellyfish crowd the waters of Israel’s coastline, becoming the bane of bathers who often discover too late that they have had a brush with the unwanted visitors. Even people who remain on dry land must beware, as many of the gelatinous dome-shaped marine creatures wash up on the shores as an unsightly, irritating hazard to barefoot beach walkers.

The new sign is updated based on reports from bathers and park officials, and is part of a pilot by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. The authority hopes to eventually provide similar information at all of its beach areas.

Bathers who want to plan their beach visit in advance can also check the jellyfish status along the whole coastline at the unofficial, volunteer-run Hebrew-language Meduzot website.

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