Santa Ana weather attracts stingrays to local beaches

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SAN DIEGO — Soaring temperatures across San Diego County are encouraging stingrays to come out in full force.

While Santa Ana winds can wreak havoc inland, they create calm, glassy conditions out on the ocean that attract surfers and beachgoers.

According to lifeguards, these are the conditions under which stingrays creep closer to shore and inevitably encounter people enjoying the waves.

“We’re averaging about five [encounters] a day since Sunday,” Lifeguard Lieutenant Emile Lagendijk with the City of Oceanside said.

“First we treat for bleeding,” Lagendijk said. “Then our best action of treatment is to get in hot water as fast as possible.”

Lifeguards say placing the affected area in hot water neutralizes the venom and slows the toxins, helping alleviate pain.

Most people are rushed from the water to the closest lifeguard tower after they are stung, where they then receive medical aid. Though treatment is available, preventing stingray interactions is possible by shuffling feet along the sand, a move known as the “stingray shuffle.”

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