SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Warmer shallow waters are bringing stingrays to the shores. It's causing concerns for beach communities in Southern California. There were 35 reports of stings in San Diego County alone.
However, according to the aquatics supervisor for the City of Santa Barbara, there were more stingray stings last year. The flat-bodied fish are shy creatures and like to hide under the sand to keep cool.
The spike in people at the beach creates higher chances of someone getting stung after they've accidentally stepped on a stingray's tail. "There are not as many incidents this year as to last year.
Last year at our beach we had about 30 plus. Usually we have 5 for the year. So far this year, we've had I think 3.
So it's down quite a bit from last year," said Tony Sholl, the aquatics supervisor for the City of Santa Barbara. Sholl says beachgoers should shuffle their feet once they get into the water so the stingrays know they're coming.
If you do get stung, remain calm. Lifeguards say people should dip their feet into hot water for 30 minutes up to 2 hours so the venom can be released.
The stings usually aren't life threatening, but anyone who is allergic to bees should be more careful.