Peak stingray season causing multiple emergency calls along the coast

TOPSAIL BEACH (WITN) - Multiple people at Eastern Carolina beaches have been stung by stingrays over the past several days, and there are still a few weeks left in peak stingray season.

Emergency medical crews responded to four incidents of people being stung by stingrays at North Topsail Beach in the past five days, and they've made multiple other responses to other beaches along the coast for the same reason.

Authorities say peak stingray season stretches from Memorial Day to early September, and that also happens to be a popular time for people to vacation at the beach. EMS crews add, most people get stung in very shallow water by simply walking along the shore and accidentally stepping on a stingray. They say that can be avoided by doing what is known as "the stingray shuffle", or shuffling the feet to stir up sand which will scare stingrays away.

Beachgoers say they have seen stingrays recently, and they make sure to be careful. Allison Boba said, "If you do this with your feet, they'll move, so I try to do that. But if I see one, that's enough. I don't go anywhere near it and I will go out a little bit and tell myself that I'm not going to get stung."

If you are stung by a stingray, authorities say you should call 911 immediately or go to the emergency room, and get the sting under the hottest water you can stand to avoid infection.