A new invasive species has found its way into the back bay waters of New Jersey -- and it's dangerous, as one unlucky swimmer found out.
Emergency management officials in Monmouth Beach say the man was swimming in the Shrewsbury River when he was stung by a clinging jellyfish, which is native to the Pacific Ocean. The sting can lead to serious medical problems, including kidney failure.
Middletown resident Matt Carlo spent two nights in a hospital after being stung by the jellyfish while swimming in the Shrewsbury River in Oceanport over the weekend. He said it was "almost like a serrated knife had grazed my side."
"Every muscle felt like it had a knife in it," Carlo said. "I was like punching at walls."
Carlo said doctors gave him morphine for the pain during his hospital stay. He also says he plans to stay out of the river.
Clinging jellyfish usually hang on to eel grass or seaweed and surface at night to feed. It's believed the species was transported to the Atlantic Ocean by clinging to ships that sailed from the Pacific.
DNA tests indicated they were in Barnegat Bay, as well as the Shrewsbury River, according to Paul Bologna, a marine biologist with Montclair State. Bologna said the species have previously been reported from Massachusetts to North Carolina, but not in New Jersey.
Monmouth Beach Mayor Sue Howard issued an alert to residents about the jellyfish.