San Diego lifeguards are warning ocean goers to be on the alert for stingrays in the water. There’s been an increase this season of the bottom-feeders who swim close to shore. And there’s been an increase in “attacks” at local and regional beaches, according to officials.
For example, Huntington Beach last year witnessed an all-time record number of stingray injuries, with more than 400 seen by November.
Instructions of how to avoid stingrays was given by Lifeguard Supervisor Kevin Pearsall, who described that it’s important to shuffle your feet when entering the water. He said:
“As you enter the water, onto the sand, you kind of shuffle, you keep the sand moving, the area moving as they hear you coming and see you coming. They’re going to flee. They do not want contact with us in anyway.”
If you are stung by a stingray – it can be very painful and bleed. But there is no need to rush to the ER or be seen by a medical doctor.
Simply immerse the affected area into a pail of very hot water or a bathtub with hot water. After about an hour, the “sting” dissolves and the pain disappears. However, a barb left in the skin can get infected.
So, for instance, if you are stung on the foot or let – a likely area while wadding in shallow water – place the foot into a pail of water that is as hot as you can stand. Keep it there immersed for an hour.
When I worked at the Beach Area Community Clinic in the 1980s in Mission Beach, we would have numerous patients come in during the summer with stings. And what we would we do is simply what I just recommended; we would have the patient sit with their foot in the pail of very hot water for about an hour.