One dead jellyfish wreaked havoc on a New Hampshire beach this afternoon, stinging close to 150 people, most of them children, and sending five to the hospital, fire officials said.
Rye, N.H., emergency officials received the call around 1:30 p.m. that 125 to 150 people, including children and a few adults, at Wallis Sands State Park had been stung by a jellyfish, Rye Fire Lieutenant Charles Gallant said.
Park officials had tried to remove a large dead jellyfish from the water earlier in the day, but it broke apart and the floating pieces stung the children in the water, he said.
The jellyfish was roughly the size of "a cover of a trash can," Gallant said.
Lifeguards treated the majority of the children with vinegar and baking soda, Gallant said.
Five children were transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital as a precaution over allergy concerns, he said. Several summer youth groups had made a trip to the beach today, he said.
Gallant said neither he nor his crew could remember the last time they had experienced a jellyfish sting in the area, let alone nearly 150.
"At least for us, they’re not very common," he said.
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