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Stringray Swarm Injures 73 in One Day at SoCal Beach

Stringray Swarm Injures 73 in One Day at SoCal Beach
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 January 2018 10:38 AM

A swarm of stringrays left 73 people injured in just one day at one Southern California beach, a record. Another 45 people were injured there the day before.

The stingray infestation on Friday prompted lifeguards at Huntington Beach to set up a stingray station with chairs and buckets for people seeking relief from their injuries, the International Business Times reported.

Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis said that in his 40 years as a lifeguard in Huntington Beach, he had not seen as many stringray injuries in one day.

“We’re infested,” he said, per the Orange County Register. “That’s just how many we treated… It’s a problem.”

Panis said extreme low tides combined with small surf, warm waters and large holiday crowds were just “a recipe for disaster.”

Stingray injuries are not uncommon to coastal areas and although they tend not to be fatal, Panis described them as “extremely painful.”

“It will ruin your day, you’ll end up going home and sticking your foot in hot water all day,” he said, per the Register. “Of course, they have to follow up with a doctor, it’s a puncture wound and can get infected.”

One exception on stingray deaths was “The Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin who died in September 2005 after being stung while filming a documentary on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, per The New York Times. The 44-year-old animal conservationist and television personality reportedly suffered cardiac arrest after the barb punctured his heart.

Californian marine biologist Chris Lowe told National Public Radio that the intense pain of a stingray injury is the result of a powerful toxin being secreted from the animal’s tail.

"That toxin causes blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow," he said. "It causes this intense pain sensation — a throbbing, kind of aching pain sensation. And it literally takes hours to go away."

Lee Love, a regular swimmer at Huntington Beach, said she had been coming to the spot for decades but had not been stung until last week, when she was hit twice by sting rays.

“The first time, it was so painful, so excruciating,” she said, per IBT.

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A swarm of stringrays left 73 people injured in just one day at one Southern California beach, a record. Another 45 people were injured there the day before.
stringray, swarm, injures 73, socal, beach
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2018-38-02
Tuesday, 02 January 2018 10:38 AM
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