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August Brings Jellyfish to the Beaches

Compo Beach Gate Supervisor Andrew Lawrence took a dip in the waters off the popular Westport beach twice this year. Both times he got stung by a jellyfish. As far as he is concerned, it's no big deal. "You take some wet sand and rub it over the sting in one direction. Do that a few times and then rinse the sand off with salt water," said Lawrence as he sat outside of the Compo Beach gate. He said both times, the trick worked.

Visitors to the beach were greeted Tuesday with a large handmade sign proclaiming a jellyfish warning. Now a smaller sign greets visitors, announcing an advisory.

"The reason we put the sign up, is because it is inevitable that someone comes to the beach and sees there are jellyfish in the water, and then they want to get a refund on their day fee. We don't give refunds," said McCarthy. To avoid the confusion, Parks and Recreation posts signs in August alerting potential beach-goers of the potential for jellyfish in the water before they cough up the cash.

"It's nothing special, every August we get jellyfish. It's perfectly normal," said McCarthy. He figures every beach in the county has the same issue.

The jellyfish in the water are just the "cute little red" ones that will leave someone feeling a bit itchy according to McCarthy. More dangerous varieties, such as the lion's mane and Portugese man-of-war, are uncommon here. "We want people to just be aware so, if they would rather go to the mall they can do that too," said McCarthy.

Vito Sandomenico, of Westchester, brought his family to the beach for the second day in a row, paying the out-of-town parking fees each time. He said they weren't concerned about the jellyfish because the kids were just going to use the playground. "If we were going swimming it would probably be a different story," said Sandomenico.

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