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Stingray Season at Clearwater Beach Off to an Early Start

The purple warning flags are flying early as stingray season has started. Already two people have been stung.

It’s time to start the stingray shuffle early this year.

The purple warning flags are up at the beach as stingray season is on. The fish with the long, barbed, whip-like tail glides above the sand in these waters typically from May to August, said Chris Lang, interim director for beach patrol.

But already two beach goers have been stung since March 16.

“There are more people at the beach right now and the weather is warmer than it has been the past few years,” Lang said.

And more victims are likely as the stingrays continue to migrate. Lang estimates there are hundreds of sting victims during the season.

“There are days when we have 20 (stings) a day,” he said.

The only remedy is heat, Lang said. Typically sting victims are asked if they want a heat pack to treat it on their own. Or they are taken to the North Beach fire station to soak their foot in warm water.

To avoid this calamity beach goers should shuffle their feet while they are in the water. Lang also warned of jelly fish too.

“You really can’t watch out for them,” Lang said. “They are transparent in the water so you can’t really see them.”

Lang also suggests checking with on duty lifeguards for other water hazards.

Call (727) 462-6963.

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