‘Worst pain ever’: Surfer sent to ER after box jellyfish sting

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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man was sent to the ER over the weekend after doctors say he was stung by a venomous jellyfish.

As Tropical Storm Chris churns off the coast, surfers like John Cheshire took to the beach to take advantage of the swell.

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“We went to Masonboro to catch some waves on the incoming tides,” Cheshire said.

His surf trip to Masonboro Island Sunday afternoon turned into a painful nightmare after he said he was stung by a box jellyfish.

“It hit me from the chest and wrapped me all the way around and as I went to kind of see what was going on,” Cheshire said. “I noticed there was a huge, thick jellyfish on me.”



He waved in his buddies in and headed down the trail toward the sound side where the boat was docked.

“I fell out twice on trail, almost lost consciousness,” he said. “I was really nauseous. I couldn’t breathe. My heart was racing.”

He was taken to the Coast Guard station in Wrightsville Beach where he received immediate treatment from ocean rescue. He then was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” Cheshire said. “It was pretty bad.”

The doctor says based on the marks, it was an Atlantic box jellyfish. Experts say their venom is considered to be among the most deadly in the world.

Persistent easterly winds could be the cause of more jellyfish in the area. WWAY reported last week the increased number of jellyfish was expected during the week of July 4.

“I felt like someone was taking a hot knife and dragging it across my chest and multiple that by 10 and it just stayed there,” he said.

He says he’s thankful to be alive and now has a pretty good story to tell.

Cheshire says nothing will stop him from getting back out in the water but does plan on being more alert while surfing.