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Dozens stung by stingrays at local beaches

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SAN DIEGO – Lifeguards were scrambling Thursday to help dozens of people stung by stingrays at local beaches.

Thirty-nine people were stung at Coronado Beach alone.

The warm water and small waves are ideal conditions for stingrays. And with hot weather drawing people to pack the beaches, lifeguards were staying busy from Coronado to Del Mar.

“I saw some stuff moving in the water but I didn’t really think anything of it,” said Logan Orr, who was stung by a stingray Thursday in Del Mar.

Logan’s story is a common one. The stingrays are well-camouflaged and it’s tough to see them until they move, by which time it might be too late.

“I think I stepped a little bit by it, and it got defensive and shot right up my heel,” Logan said.

The wound itself is relatively small, but the toxin released inside the body can be debilitatingly painful.

“‘Cause your whole foot just burns,” Logan said. “I was just in shock. I just laid down in the water and was just holding it.”

Logan’s mom says she has rarely seen her son in such a state.

“The pain was really bad,” she said. “He doesn’t usually fall to the ground. He’s a tough guy.”

But after two hours with his foot dipped into a bucket of “hot-as-you-can-take” water, Logan was able to hobble back to the hotel.

There is no foolproof way to prevent a stingray strike, but one lifeguard recommendation is the “stingray shuffle” – shuffle your feet as you enter the water to give those little bottom feeders a warning.