stingrays Alabama coast

Officials say a stingray invasion prompted warnings for beachgoers along the Alabama coast.

   Purple flags are flying on beaches because of a large number of stingray sightings, and more than 20 people have complained about coming into contact with them.

   The beach safety director in Orange Beach, Melvin Shepard, tells WALA-TV ( ) several people have been stung.

   Stingrays get their name from a barb in their tail, which they swing as a defense mechanism. The barb can hit anyone walking in the water on the lower leg.