Beachgoers reminded to do 'stingray shuffle' to avoid injury

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SARASOTA -- Stingray season has begun and is expected to last through the summer. Sarasota County lifeguards remind beachgoers to avoid injury by doing the "stingray shuffle" when entering beach waters. By shuffling your feet in the sand, you will scare off any stingrays that might be around.

If stingrays are present at the beach, a purple flag will be visible from the lifeguard tower in addition to signs posted alerting of the danger. Flags currently are up and will be flown as needed.

Stingrays by nature are not aggressive; however, the problem arises when bathers unknowingly step on them. This happens close to the shoreline where stingrays tend to burrow in the sand, usually during the summer months when they are searching for food or mating.

Stingraysare capable of inflicting a laceration or a penetrating type of wound. The injury is serious and can be very painful. Anyone who has suffered a stingray wound must take immediate and effective action in its treatment.

If stung by a stingray:

Seek a lifeguard or go directly to the nearest medical facility for treatment or someplace where you can get hot water.

Soaking the wound in hot water should be the first step taken in treating this injury. Soak the injured area in water as hot as one can stand, which will help to relieve the pain

For more information contact Sarasota County Lifeguard Operations at 941-861-5000 or visit www.scgov.net.