“There’s always a lot of stingrays up here at Bolsa Chica State Beach," says Eric Anderson, a park aide. "When we put in that little inlet that went into the wetlands, that created a little haven for them so they go breed over there and then they come back out through the jetty near Seapoint."
"The only reason stingrays really sting people is because people step on them, so we tell people to do the stingray “shuffle," adds Anderson. "So basically you just shuffle your feet when you’re in the water and by doing so, it let’s them know something is nearby and scares them away."
“Shuffling is a myth,” Huntington Harbor resident Greg Escalante tells the Weekly. “They’ll just sting you, you don’t always have to step on them to get stung.” Escalante, who has fallen victim to stingray bites himself, says officials should get rid of the beware of sharks signs and replace them with beware of stingray signs. “The odds of being stung by a stingray are 100 times greater than being eaten by a shark,” he said.
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To debunk the myth of stingray shuffle, here is what Escalante captured on his cell phone after multiple beachgoers fell victim to a group of stingray attacks this past Saturday at Bolsa Chica State Beach.
“The first time you get stung is really scary but the first thing you need to do is soak [your foot] in really hot water,” Escalante advises. The venom is protein-based and breaks down in hot water. "Those tails are so sharp they can slash you open too," Escalante said. "On rare occasion they can kill you and by putting this video out there at least people will know what to be prepared for."