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World Stingrays attack 176 people in a day at California's Huntington Beach

13:00  30 october  2019
13:00  30 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Lifeguards in Huntington Beach , California , were reminding swimmers to shuffle their feet when they go into the ocean after 176 people were stung by stingrays in just one It may sound like a scene from a monster movie, but the rays weren't on a stabby rampage attacking beachgoers' lower legs.

Stingrays have attacked 176 people in a single day at a Californian surfing hot spot. © ABC News Smooth stingray The number was an unwanted record for Huntington Beach and its patrons, local authorities told CNN affiliate KTLA. According to local lifeguards it could have been prevented by

Stingrays have attacked 176 people in a single day at a Californian surfing hot spot. 

Smooth stingray © ABC News Smooth stingray The number was an unwanted record for Huntington Beach and its patrons, local authorities told CNN affiliate KTLA.

According to local lifeguards it could have been prevented by people simply shuffling their feet as they waded into the water at low tide.

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Apparently rather than the rays being unusually aggressive, the tide was low enough for people to wade out far enough to be in the area the rays inhabit. 

 "When you have people in the water with lower tides like that, they make their way out to where the stingrays reside and, unfortunately, people step on the stingrays and that's when they get stung," Lieutenant Eric Dieterman of the fire department's Marine Safety Division told KTLA.

Lifeguards had people soak their injuries in bags of warm water to help ease the pain from the stings.

Lieutenant Dieterman said lifeguards warned people to stay out of the water on Monday. It was not the first time someone had been stung in recent weeks.

Huntington Beach resident Lee Perkins told KTLA he was stung two weeks ago and the wound got infected.

"It's definitely a searing nerve pain and it's pretty intense," Mr Perkins said. Stingrays' primary defence is camouflage, but they will sting if stepped on or disturbed.

Usually the injuries can be treated with warm water and antibiotics, but if a barb breaks off in the wound medical assistance may be needed.

The most infamous stingray attack was in 2006 when world-renowned Australian conservationist Steve Irwin died when a stingray barb pieced his chest while he was filming a documentary.

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