SAN DIEGO (CBS) — Lifeguards are warning people at popular La Jolla beaches to watch out when they go in the water – dozens of beach-goers have been stung by stingrays this week.
Just Wednesday, lifeguards and paramedics treated 41 people for stingray attacks.
“In the summertime, especially when the waves are really small, we’ll get lots of stingrays coming into the shallow waters,” Lifeguard Sergeant Brian Bender told KNX 1070.
Stingrays defend themselves by flinging their barbed tails. The barbs excrete a poison, and dunking the stung arm or leg in hot water is the best way to get the poison out.
There have been so many attacks, lifeguards have set up triage stations to deal with the injuries.
“We’ve got a group of lifeguards there, specifically, preparing the hot water, preparing the stingray baths,” Bender said.
Southern Californians have been flocking in droves to the beaches to find relief from the triple-digit temperatures roasting the inland areas, compounding the problem.
Lifeguards say the best way to keep from getting stung is to scare the bottom-dwelling creatures away by shuffling your feet.