How to Avoid Stingrays This Summer: Do the Stingray Shuffle

How to Avoid Stingrays This Summer: Do the Stingray Shuffle title=
How to Avoid Stingrays This Summer: Do the Stingray Shuffle
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Source: Cottage Health

It’s summertime in Santa Barbara County and warm days mean more time by the ocean.

Beachgoers entering the water should be on the alert for stingrays. Rays like to hide just under the sand in shallow, warm water and can deliver a painful surprise when disturbed.

To avoid a stingray, swimmers should shuffle their feet and avoid stomping as they get into the water.

The “sting” from a ray results in a wound that is similar to being jabbed with a pointy and serrated knife, and a toxic venom enters the skin (a process called envenomation). While the sting wound tends to be small, the level of pain can be very intense and immediate. Swelling and discoloration also can occur.

Doctors recommend soaking the injured area in hot water for 60 to 90 minutes and getting medical attention right away. The stingray’s barb sometimes can break off and remain imbedded in the skin and, if left untreated, an infection can occur. A doctor may be needed to remove the barb. 

This Summer Safety Tip was brought to you by Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital’s Level I Trauma Center. See more tips at cottagehealth.org/summertips.

 

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GeneralTree Aug 07, 2021 10:35 PM
How to Avoid Stingrays This Summer: Do the Stingray Shuffle

If you do get stung - putting your foot in a bucket of hot water is your first choice for making the pain go away. If no bucket and hot water is available, you can pee on your foot which will help with the pain. You can also have someone else pee on your foot if necessary which might be fun depending on who is helping you :)

ZeroHawk Aug 09, 2021 09:59 AM
How to Avoid Stingrays This Summer: Do the Stingray Shuffle

BIRD, they are all over. Everywhere. I fish, surf, kayak, swim from Goleta to Carp. I've caught them at Haskulls, and at Rincon and everywhere in between. They are really active around Fools Anchorage and the harbor beach when the water is very warm. The big ones, 100 to 250 lbs are just past the waves. i have never been stung and spend hours in the water near shore. Nor has my dog. It happens, but it's rare. Nothing to be afraid of. Just be aware.

FollowingScienc... Aug 08, 2021 12:18 PM
How to Avoid Stingrays This Summer: Do the Stingray Shuffle

If stung immersion in water as hot as is tolerable without scalding will neutralize the venom.

For superficial marine envenomations (barbs from stingrays usually too deep), applying household vinegar or a paste of meat tenderizer/water often works. Diver’s Alert Network resource handbook is awesome: http://dan.diverelearning.com/files/manual/DAN-HMLI-Student-Handbook.pdf

bosco Aug 09, 2021 10:53 AM
How to Avoid Stingrays This Summer: Do the Stingray Shuffle

I go in the ocean frequently and got stung last year for the first time. I got stung at East Beach, but they're all over. I know people stung at Leadbetter, Hendry's, and Padaro. It's no joke, the pain hit about a 10 on the pain scale about an hour or two after the sting. Don't pee on it, that does nothing and is a myth. You need full submersion in hot water which really is the only thing that helps the pain. The hot water needs to stay hot too as it cools the pain comes roaring back. The lifeguards know what to do but going to the ER is advisable. An imbedded barb and risk for infection is real. The Ocean is a beautiful thing we are blessed to have in our lives here but it's not without some risks.

ZeroHawk Aug 09, 2021 11:36 AM
How to Avoid Stingrays This Summer: Do the Stingray Shuffle

Bosco nailed it (no pun intended). I've not been hit (yet). Hope never to get hit either, but I do catch and release them often. Some fishermen i know, clip the barb off before the remove the hook(s). Reading up on this, the barb can grow back within' two weeks. ONLY the barb and this is done to safely remove the hook. I normally, gently step on the tip of the barb to hold it in place while i unhook them to release. They are BIG Ones out there in the anchorage to Padero and beyond. Biggest one i've caught was guestimated to be 175lbs, i've seen 250lb rays hauled up on the wharf with a big crab net, unhooked and released. it was the biggest i've ever seen. imagine stepping on that guy!

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