Chances are there are stingrays in the area. If the wound is still bleeding, apply pressure on it for a few minutes; 6. Hi i´m from Ecuador South America, long time ago (when i was young) i was stung by a ray in the foot (while walking out of the sea to the shore), i cant be sure what kind it was, the fisherman in that beach used to catch them and they were usually about 70cm to 1m wingspan, brown and mottled, the pain is very acute, and immediately started to feel a numbness rising from the foot all the way up to my hip, 28 years after i´m telling you my history, my father at that time give me a shot of local anesthetic, the kind the odontologist use, wash and disinfect the wound, and everything was fine after a couple hours, one more thing i remember very vividly that walking to the shore was increasingly difficult for the numbness, it should be a lot worse if anyone get stung in the middle of the ocean. Dr. Chris M. Matsko is a retired physician based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Stingray Facts and Information Introduction to Stingray. In most cases, a stingray injury should be handled in a hospital's emergency department. Make sure to apply proper ointments to the wound and keep it uncovered. There are around 220 different species of stingrays. Don't do that. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Once clean, control the bleeding with direct pressure for a few minutes, then immerse the wound in hot water for an hour to help alleviate the pain. The sting is painful, but usually not very harmful. is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Spearfishing and Diving Travel. And once the wound healed, Stern realized he had another problem. The stinger is located almost halfway down the tail on the top surface. Like their eyes, spiracles are an adaptation as well; one that allows them to bury in the sand and still breathe. But think twice before you wade into that inviting surf. They inhabit warm temperate and tropical waters, sometimes in great abundance. About 16,000 stingrays live along the shoreline of Seal Beach in Southern California, inflicting around 400 injuries each year. Michael Pless, an instructor at M&M Surfing School in Seal Beach, says he's been stung 21 times in the past 30 years. He holds a BS in Nutritional Science from Cornell University and an MD from the Temple University School of Medicine in 2007. You can check on his breathing by watching the movement of his spiracles; consistent breaths indicate his general state. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 610,206 times. Don't cover the wounded area - let it get some fresh air; 7. It's the world's most venomous fish and is potentially lethal if not treated quickly. A stingray injury is caused by the venomous tail spines, stingers or dermal denticles of rays in the order Myliobatiformes, most significantly those belonging to the families Dasyatidae, Urotrygonidae, Urolophidae, and Potamotrygonidae. Patients should make their way back to the safety of shore by shuffling their feet (so they won't be stung again). In Lowe's lab, a round stingray hides at the sandy bottom of a tank. JavaScript is disabled. They only sting in self-defense. You'll notice you've been injured because of the cuts and lacerations on your skin, and the blood coming out of the wound. But many still learn about the dangers the hard way, says Nick Bolin, a marine safety officer. California, US East Coast, South America, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Africa are their natural habitat. In a marine lab at California State University, Long Beach — an hour's drive south of where Stern got injured — marine biologist Chris Lowe says the intense pain of a stingray injury comes from a powerful toxin secreted by the animal's tail. Immersion of the affected part in hot water (about 45C) for at least 30 minutes for pain relief (relief is generally only effective while the affected part remains immersed). ", When the beach is busy and the tide is low, there may be dozens of victims, Bolin says. Jon Hamilton/NPR The bad news is that stingray stings are extremely painful. These angular and flat swimmers are frequently found in the warm and shallow waters of tropical and subtropical coastal regions. So, how does a stingray sting? Take a stroll down Seal Beach, and there's a good chance you'll run into Michael Pless, an instructor at M&M Surfing School. Where can stingrays be found? The barbs have spikes that face backwards, hooking it into your skin. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Next to their eyes -- and often mistaken for them -- are parts of the respiratory system called "spiracles." Have you ever been swimming in the sea, accidentally gotten a mouthful of ocean water, and wondered why the ocean is salty.