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Stingrays Injure 500 in California

An unpleasant surprise at 4 local beaches over Labor Day weekend
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2019 8:40 AM CDT
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Do the "stingray shuffle" if you think an attack may be imminent.   (Getty Images/aon168)

(Newser) – Hundreds of beachgoers saw out the unofficial end of summer with sand, surf, and stings. That's the report from four local beaches in Southern California, where 500 or so visitors suffered injuries over Labor Day weekend when stingrays went on the attack. The Orange County Register puts the number of those hurt from Saturday through Monday at 230 for Bolsa Chica State Beach, 125 for Huntington City Beach, and 60 for Huntington State Beach, with another 82 at Seal Beach, aka "Ray Beach," on Saturday and Sunday.

Kevin Pearsall, a superintendent for California State Parks, tells ABC News that stingrays are actually quite common in shallow waters, especially at southern-facing beaches—it's where they like to breed and hide out from predators—and that the seemingly high number of injuries over the holiday weekend was simply because there were more people at the beach than usual. Pain from minor stingray stings usually subsides after an hour; more serious punctures should be monitored for infection. A word of advice from Pearsall if you're in waters known to be inhabited by rays: Do the "stingray shuffle." "If you shuffle [your feet] and let them know you're there, they will scatter away," he notes. (Read more stingray stories.)

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