Beach season opens July 1, lifeguards posted early
Jeju Special Self-Governing Province announced on June 3 that 11 beaches will open July 1 to Aug 31.
Night bathing will be permitted between 7pm and 9pm from July 18 to Aug 16 at Iho, Hamdeok, Hyeopjae and Samyang (all Jeju City).
After the Law on Beach Use and Management (enacted last December) transfered beach safety from the Coast Guard to relevant municipal authorities, 47 fewer safety personnel were sent to the island.
With fewer safety personnel available the province shortened both the beach season, by 10 days, and night bathing.
Although all facilities will not be available until July 1, Jeju City announced on June 18 it will deploy lifeguards to its beaches by June 24 or earlier.
Beachgoers have not been deterred by the shorter beach season and tourists have flocked to Jeju’s beaches. Jeju City therefore decided to send 40 lifeguards to seven of its most popular beaches and recruit 35 specialists with Coast Guard experience.
Blue-ringed octopus sighted
The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute Fisheries Research Centre announced the lethal blue-ringed octopus was spotted east of Jeju City on May 10.
The animal is relatively small at around 10cm and is described as shiny with luminous blue lights on its skin. Its skin is toxic and it carries a lethal poison (tetrodotoxin) which can cause paralysis, vomiting and breathing problems.
The public is advised not to touch it under any circumstances.
Sightings of the creature have increased in recent years.
Gulfweed nuisance for bathers
The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute announced on June 5 that an influx of gulfweed is piling up on local beaches.
The brown seaweed, often mixed with litter, has been piling up on Jeju’s coasts and getting caught in fishing nets.
With conditions favorable for the algae, holidaymakers have complained of its presence on beaches and its pungent smell.
Jeju City is carrying out a gulfweed eradication program and it will eventually dissipate as temperatures rise further.
Nomura jellyfish warning
The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute report four jellyfish per hectare in waters near Ieodo islet, about 150km southwest of Jeju.
This is four times as many as last year and the creatures are expected to move toward the island from late June.
The highly toxic 150kg jellyfish is active from June to December with a 2m-long brown body and red-black tentacles which if touched produce a whip-like blotchy rash.
What to do if you are stung
1. Get out of the water immediately.
2. Do not touch or rub the wound. Wash with sea water or saline.
3. Remove any tentacles with tweezers if possible.
4. Place a cold pack on the wound.
5. Go home once stabilized.
* When the casualty has difficulty breathing or falls unconscious, immediately seek help from a medical professional. In emergency, perform CPR and move casualty to a hospital for treatment.
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