A few days ago, Charles Layton posted an article about water safety. That piece was mostly about rip tides, although he did mention that Michelle Davidson, the OG lifeguard manager, had talked about stingrays and sharks. Since then, we have had a few inquiries for more information about these ocean creatures.
We questioned Michelle again. It seems that stingrays travel in schools and rarely are seen in OG. But they were spotted recently on several occasions by lifeguards. These creatures are usually harmless and afraid of people, but if you step on one or approach one aggressively, they might react with their venomous barb. There have been no stingray attacks in Ocean Grove this season , but if the lifeguards see any rays, they will “clear the water.”
As for sharks, on one occasion recently, an OG lifeguard saw three “very small” sharks. As a result, the guards cleared the water. Michelle felt that there was no risk from those animals. An Ocean Grove beachgoer was swimming yesterday and dove into a wave. He saw a “large” brown creature swim by within the wave. He is a boater and he thought that it was a shark, perhaps three feet long.
In August we probably will see jelly fish. If one of those stings you with their venomous tentacles, Michelle suggested that you pull out the tentacles and rinse with salt water. Some people suggest using vinegar. She said that most people have no serious reactions, but there is a risk of severe allergic reactions, and, she said, people with bee sting allergies can have a significant problem.
If you have a bee sting allergy, you should be carrying your Epi-Pen with you at all times.