Stingray stings on the rise

Myrtle Beach, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Grand Strand is feeling the sting of stingrays this year.  Over a dozen people have been stung, which is twice as many as all of last year, according to doctors at Grand Strand Regional Hospital.

"There is a sort of season for it," Doctor Jarrat Lark from Grand Strand Regional Hospital said.  "We're apparently in it now.  It correlates to when the southern stingrays are migrating up the coast.  We'll start seeing stingrays fairly frequently."

Lark also holds a degree in Marine Biology and says stingrays are not out to attack.

"They don't use their sting to try to help get food for them or anything like that," Lark said.  "And so it's usually a defense tactic to try to ward you away and make you not want to upset them."

Ripley's Aquarium visitors can actually swim with stingrays and Director of Education at the aquarium, Michelle Ruthenberg, says there is a way to share the water so you don't feel the sting.

"What we always recommend is that you do the 'stingray shuffle,'" Ruthenberg said.  "Simply taking your feet and shuffling them through the sand."

Experts say hot water is the best way to treat a stingray sting but they also say you may want to see a doctor due to the pain.

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