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Large Number of Stingray Stings Reported in La Jolla

San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum said lifeguards made several hundred rescues over the weekend on San Diego beaches and treated numerous stingray stings.

San Diego lifeguards said it was a typically busy summer weekend at city beaches from Ocean Beach to La Jolla's Black's Beach with lots of rescues and an unusually large number of stingray attacks.

“The surf was relatively small but we me made more than 100 rescues today," said San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum on Sunday, noting 30 to 50 rescues is typical for a “mellow” summer weekend day.   

Lerum said close to 400 rescues have been recorded on really busy summer days with “warm water and big surf.”   

“We've had several hundred rescues in one day,” he said.   

Lerum said water temperature has dipped significantly to 63 degrees.

“It was 70 a week ago,” he said.   

San Diego water temperatures can reach as high as 74 or 75 degrees along San Diego's coastline in August and September, and dip as low as 55 or 56 degrees in December or January, Lerum said.   

Meanwhile, there were an unusually large number of stingray stings reported at La Jolla Shores Saturday carrying over into Sunday.

“It's become sort of a routine thing for us,” Lerum said. “We're telling people to shuffle their feet when they walk in shallow water. It's a big help for them not to get stung.”   

The lifeguard lieutenant also cautioned people that it is illegal to jump off ocean cliffs or any structure along the ocean greater than 5 feet in height, which he said includes Ocean Beach Pier.

“We've had some serious injuries with people jumping recently,” Lerum said.   

Surf recently has only been in the 2- to 3-foot range.

“That's caused a fair amount of frustration for surfers in San Diego who haven't had good surfing for several weeks,” Lerum said. “It's been average surfing.”   

But summer is nearing an end.

“Labor Day is pretty much the end of our busy season,” Lerum said. “It's hit or miss after that.”

–City News Service

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