Jellyfish put coastal ferry in jetty jam

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11:08 CEST+02:00
A Norwegian coastal ferry had to halt operations for hours on Sunday night when it ran into giant schools of marauding jellyfish.

The mushy swimmers’ nightmares clogged filters in the hull of the Hansnes-Vannøya ferry, the equivalent of a bus route for locals in this northwest Norwegian community.

“We got the message that the motor’s seawater (cooling) filters were clogged,” captain Per Antonsen of the ferry MF Malangen was quoted by NRK as saying.

He said the crew rinsed the filters but they quickly clogged again. Looking around the vessel, his crew discovered the ferry was surrounded by a dense net of whitish, translucent jellyfish.

“None of us have ever experienced anything like it,” Antonsen said.

After purging its filters repeatedly, the ship finally got free of its jetty but couldn’t make headway until the captain decided to use the propellers to churn up the sea around the quay.

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The glassmanet, or Aurelia aurita, is not a stinging jellyfish but has wreaked havoc with transport and played on the fears of swimmers since a series of mass invasions began in recent years. Jellyfish that have mixed with the wild fish hauls of fishermen have caused their catch to slosh around and boats to capsize.

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