Going to the beach in Georgia is an excellent experience for people of all ages. The scenic coastal views, dolphins, calming seawater, and pristine sand can make for an exciting but relaxing day. Stingrays are a common fish in the southeast and often swim in waters along the shoreline. The sting from a stingray can be excruciating but avoidable. One way to help prevent a sting is by learning how to do the stingray shuffle.

Where Do Stingrays Live

When it comes to the rays habitat, they prefer soft sandy areas, which unfortunately include beaches. Most rays will bury themselves in the sand with only the upper portion of the back and eyes exposed, ready to lunge at the next piece of food that drifts past.

How Does A Stingray Bite

Believe it or not, a stingray does not bite; the tail can sting a victim. The fish is not aggressive fish but rather sting to protect themselves.

Most often, humans are stung as a result of stepping on an unsuspecting stingray. The Georgia beaches have murky water with almost zero visibility, so they can be seen as you wade into the sea.

Once a ray feels threatened or is stepped on, the tail will lurch forward. The tail is long enough to extend past the head of the fish. The spine typically strikes a person’s feet or lower portions of the legs.

How Do You Avoid A Sting From A Stingray

The best way to avoid a sting from a stingray is to do what is called the stingray shuffle. The stingray shuffle is easy and can help avoid injury and potentially ending fun in the sun on vacation. No matter what part of the Georgia coast you’re on, whether it be Tybee Island beaches, Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge, or down in Cumberland Island, stingrays are present.

Steps To Perform The Stingray Shuffle

Rather than lifting your feet, keep them in the sand

Drag your feet through the sand to cause commotion and a disturbance in the seafloor

Continue dragging your feet as you enter and exit the water

Why Is The Stingray Shuffle Effective

The stingray shuffle is effective because it causes vibration in the water, which warms the ray when someone is coming. The warning alerts the stingray to move on down the seabed.  

What Are The Symptoms Of A Stingray Sting

Unfortunately, we sometimes forget to do the stingray shuffle. The sting can cause a multitude of symptoms. The stinger emits proteins much like that of a bee sting. Some may be allergic to the venom causing a more severe reaction.

Bleeding in the area where the barb penetrated the skin

Immediate pain around the wound that can last more than 24 hours

Swelling in the areas surrounding the location of the sting

Other symptoms include nausea, sweating, vomiting, low blood pressure, or even seizures

How Do you Treat A Sting

When you were having too much fun to remember the stingray shuffle and the unfortunate happened, the wound should be treated.

Apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding

Monitor the victim for potential seizures, shortness of breath, and severe allergic reactions

Clean the wound to disinfect it

Administer medication to help reduce swelling and pain

In the event of extreme reactions, call an ambulance

Monitor the wound for signs of infection

Get Ready To Head To A Georgia Beach

The likelihood of a stingray sting is low, so you should not let it deter you from enjoying the coastal region of Georgia. You will be missing out if you let it keep you home. Remember to do the stingray shuffle and instruct your children to do the same but make a game out of it rather than causing fear. Explore the natural shoreline that Georgia has to offer.