It was a perfect way to put an unofficial end to the summer season, with warm weather and water drawing beachgoers to the coast over the holiday weekend – but more than 500 had to hobble home in pain.
Stingrays were out in full force over the three-day holiday, with lifeguards busy tending to big beach crowds who were splashing in the shallows to cool off – right where rays like to hang out. Lurking below the water’s surface, the ocean dwellers delivered painful puncture wounds to those who came too close.
The largest tally of injury reports came from Bolsa Chica State Beach, with 124 on Saturday, 64 on Sunday and another 42 on Monday. Nearby Huntington State Beach Beach had about 20 a day, said State Parks Lifeguard Chief Jeff David.
There were plenty of beachgoers who had to seek relief from the hot water in these yellow stingray first aid bags during the holiday weekend.(File photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
The stingrays “love” the gradually sloping beaches and sandy bottoms, he said.
Huntington City Beach also had its share of stingray responses, with 34 tallied on Saturday, 73 on Sunday and 18 on Monday. Of 130 medical aid medical aid reports those three days, 125 of them were stingrays, said Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis.
Panis said Sunday’s 73 stingray injuries were a near record for the city. “That’s a big spike.”
There seems to be high numbers when there’s low tides, which happened late afternoon each day as beach crowds hung around, he said.
“That’s usually the trigger point for us,” Panis said. “Anytime there’s a low tide like that, you’re at a higher risk. If it’s a lower tide, you might even avoid going out.”
He said extra caution should be used entering and exiting the water, suggesting the …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle