HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — Big waves, warm temperatures and sunny skies aren’t the only things beach-goers can expect when they visit Huntington Beach this holiday weekend, but stingrays.
“It’s a flat fish that lays on the bottom,” said Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis. “And when you step on it, it’ll fling its tail up and hit you with its stinger.”
Lifeguards are warning that there has been a spike in stingray presence in the waters around Huntington Beach, likely due to low tides and the abnormally warm winter weather SoCal has been experiencing.
“My buddy’s dad got stung really bad, both legs. It’s really bad,” said one beach-goer. “Yeah, my brother got stung the other day too. There are a lot right now,” said another.
The number of stingray encounters has been record setting for this time of year, with at least 156 people reporting being stung just within the last three days.
“The biggest thing is to just shuffle your feet on the sand, just to stir up the sand, scare away the stingrays. Then if you do get hit, go to a lifeguard, put your foot in hot water,” said lifeguard Jakob Kress.
Lifeguards will be treating those who are injured at special stingray stations throughout the weekend.