CLEARWATER BEACH – More than 32 people were stung by stingrays at Clearwater Beach Wednesday and Thursday, the city reports, and beachgoers are warned to be cautious in the Gulf waters over the Memorial Day weekend.
Purple flags are flying at the beach to indicate an increased number of stingrays in the water, public safety officials say. Because the stingrays tend to bury themselves beneath the sand, swimmers should do the “stingray shuffle” and shuffle their feet when entering the water. The disturbance causes stingrays to swim away.
If you’re stung by a stingray, find a lifeguard immediately. Fire crews at one station near the beach have also been busy treating stings.
Usually, people are stung when they accidentally step on a stingray. The creature activates the stinger in its tail for self-defense.