Sao Paulo: Over sixty swimmers were evacuated after being stung by swarms of jellyfish during an aquatic marathon on the Brazilian coast, the Santos civil defence has confirmed.
Rainy weather favoured the presence of a greater than usual number of jellyfish in the Canal de Bertioga, which is open at both ends to the Atlantic Ocean.
“We think that the jellyfish were dragged towards the canal because of the rain. The swimmers were vomiting, trembling and suffered burns,” Civil Defence Director in Santos, Plinio Aguiar said yesterday.
“Thirty other athletes pulled out of the race when they saw the suffering of others,” he added.
Dr Camila Perucchi, who treated some of the victims, said that the bites “were on their arms, legs and faces” and that some participants had suffered allergic reactions.
The 24km marathon has taken place annually for the past 40 years, and this year 247 men and women were registered to compete.