Stingray Stings On Track To Be Highest Ever, Lifeguards Warn

Lifeguards said it is due in part to warmer ocean waters

This summer, stingray stings are on track to be the highest ever along the coast of San Diego County, lifeguards said. 

Ocean temperatures are the highest they have been in over 100 years, bringing more and more people into the water. 

"No one is safe from stingrays," said Cayden Pangelinan, a lifeguard in Coronado. "They're everywhere." 

Pangelinan added there are so many stingrays that he and his fellow lifeguards have been stung multiple times in the summer. 

"We're averaging about 80 stings a week," said John Anderson, lead lifeguard at Silver Strand State Beach. "That's on track to be a record." 

Pangelinan said for the last two years, stingray attacks averaged around 400. This year, it is closer to 600. 

Pangelinan added people are most likely to get stung during low tide. 

"When the sandbar is exposed, that's their habitat," said Pangelinan. "When people go further out that's when they get stung." 

Even scientists are not immune to the wrath of stingrays. One oceanographer said he had an encounter with one in La Jolla this week. 

"I caught a wave and I landed on a stingray," Said Art Miller, Ph.D., head of the Oceans and Atmosphere Section of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "He was squiggling under my foot. I felt his tail lash out at my ankle." 

He added it is unclear if more stingrays are in the area due to the higher ocean temperatures or if the spike in stings is due to more people enjoying the warmer waters. 

If you do get stung, contact your nearest lifeguard. They will most likely have you soak the affected area in hot water. The best temperature to relieve the toxins is 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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