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Dozens Stung By Stingrays At La Jolla Beach

Stingrays injured dozens of beachgoers in the surf along La Jolla Shores and the Torrey Pines area today, sending two of them to hospitals, authorities reported.

At least 35 of the painful stings were reported through the day, with a rash of them coming in the mid-afternoon, San Diego lifeguard Lt. Nick Lerma said.

Medics transported two patients -- a 16-year-old boy and a 21-year-old woman, both of whom reported having trouble breathing after getting stabbed by rays' barbed tails -- to emergency rooms and treated the other victims at the waterfront.

The number of strikes was unusual, though not unprecedented, Lerma said.

"It's not unheard of, but it doesn't happen every day, for sure,'' he said. "It's certainly the most for this year.''

To avoid getting stung by a ray, swimmers and surfers are advised to shuffle their feet through the sand while walking in the surf instead of taking normal up-and-down steps, particularly if there have been recent reports of the flat-bodied, long-tailed venomous fish in the area.

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