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Lifeguards warn beachgoers of stingrays

SAN DIEGO -- San Diego lifeguards made 153 rescues and performed 131 medical aid operations so far this Fourth of July holiday weekend as sunny skies have been drawing large crowds to the beaches, officials said Monday.

Several of the medical issues were due to stingray encounters, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, which tweeted a photo of two people soaking their feet in buckets labeled "stingray."

"@SDLifeguards remind people in the water to watch out for stingrays," said the tweet that accompanied the photo. "Shuffle your feet as you walk in the water to scare them away."

Lifeguards also used ropes and climbing gear Saturday to rescue a woman stranded on the cliffs above Blacks Beach near the Glider Port, according to the lifeguards Twitter account. The 30-year-old woman was attempting to climb down to the beach when she became stranded.

The rescues and medical aids don't "reflect the number of contacts with the public that our lifeguards had over this weekend," said Monica Munoz, a spokeswoman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

"They routinely engage the public and offer advice and safety information in order to prevent problems or injuries. They also help by providing directions (and) surf and water information," Munoz said. "Suffice to say our lifeguards are a tremendous asset for those visiting the beaches (and) bays and using personal watercraft or boats on the water."