PACIFIC PALISADES–Los Angeles County lifeguards have issued a warning to beach-goers on Friday, August 14 to be aware of an elevated stingray population on the coastline during the heat wave this summer.
Lifeguard Captain Kenichi Haskett of the Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Division said in a press release that, “We have seen countless stingrays throughout the Santa Monica Bay, with several causing stingray hits.”
At least a dozen people have been stung by stingrays in the last 48 hours including two incidents at Will Rogers State Beach and one at Pacific Palisades involving an 11-year-old girl.
According to LA County Lifeguards, due to the heat an unusual amount of stingrays are hiding beneath the sands in calm and shallow waters.
To avoid stepping on the flat fish camouflaged on the ocean floor, experts suggest to utilize “the stingray shuffle” technique, which consist of dragging one’s feet along the bottom of the ocean. This movement stirs the sand and gives stingrays notice to get out of the way.
Stingrays are not considered dangerous creatures, but their venomous barbs could be extremely painful once penetrating the skin. The combination of the stingray lashing its tail upward and releasing its venom as the barbs tear creates searing pain that radiates up and down the leg.
Recently lifeguards have been equipped with stingray first aid bags in preparation to assist another victim of LA County’s stingray influx.
If stung, LA County Lifeguards advise patients to soak the wound in hot water for 15 to 45 minutes. The heat of the water relieves the pain by drawing out the venom.
CBS Los Angeles reported that around 100 people have been stung between Zuma Beach and San Pedro in the last month alone.
Phelan Archuleta posted this video of Mother’s Beach on her Facebook beneath the caption, “This isn’t even close to showing how many stingrays there are.”
To learn more safety tips regarding marine wildlife visit http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/lifeguard/stingrays-jellyfish/