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LA County Lifeguards Treat More Than A Dozen For Stingray Injuries In 2 Days

LOS ANGELES ( — With record high temperatures forecast for this weekend, Los Angeles County lifeguard officials issued a warning Friday about the increase in stingray sightings.

On Thursday and Friday alone, more than a dozen people were treated by Los Angeles County lifeguards for stingray stings.

"We have seen countless stingrays throughout Santa Monica Bay, with several causing stingray hits," Los Angeles County Fire Lifeguard Capt. Kenichi Haskett said. "When going into the ocean, shuffle your feet."

The "stingray shuffle" alerts stingrays to a person's presence so they have time to move away.

Stingrays, which are attracted to warmer waters, are flat fish with eyes and nostrils on the top side of their bodies, mouths and gills on the underside, and a long tail with barbed spines that contain venom. They are often found partially buried in shallow, sandy waters, LA County Lifeguard officials said.

A stingray will lash its tail upwards when provoked, which can puncture a person's skin and release venom into its victim.

Swimmers or surfers who are stung should notify a lifeguard immediately. Stingray stings are treated with hot water to decrease the pain and antiseptic to clean the wound.

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