The Malpe beach would be closed for the next twenty days as seven tourists, who visited the beach on Sunday, had harrowing time after ray fish stung their legs resulting in lacerations.
The New Indian Express reported that the tourists, six from Bengaluru and one from Kodagu, were undergoing treatment in a nursing home in the city.
Around the same time last year, at least 27 tourists were reportedly injured after being stung by the sting-ray fishes in the same beach.
Mohan V Kanchan, head of the four-member life-guard team at Malpe beach, told TOI that these fish come near the edge of the sea due to dip in water temperature. Visitors shouldn't go into the water on September 24 (Mahalaya Amavasya) and it may take another week for them to go away,
Most ray fish have one or more barbed stingers on the tail, which are used exclusively in self-defence. Ray fish do not aggressively attack humans, though stings do occur if someone steps on a ray fish. They use their barbs only as self-defence.
“We have placed caution boards stating that no one should enter the beach from Monday till the fish move away, which could take 20 more days,” he said.
Dr Surendra Shetty, medical officer, Malpe Nursing Home, who is treating the tourists, told the Times of India that the sting is poisonous, but not fatal.
“Pain will be severe for a day and there will be muscle cramps. One should soak the leg in hot water, which destabilises the venom within half an hour,” he said.
The medical officer told the newspaper that pain-killer injections and local anaesthesia were given to the injured as a part of the treatment.
Speaking to TOI, Anil D’Souza, one of the life-guards said that many sting-rays were caught in fishing nets a week ago.