Nov 26, 2020
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Elderly man survives stingray stab

LIGHTHOUSE POINT, Fla. (AP) _ An 81-year-old man was in critical condition Thursday after a stingray flopped into his boat and stung him in the chest, leaving a 30-centimetre-long barb that penetrated his heart similar to the accident that killed "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin.

"It was a freak accident," said David Donzella, Lighthouse Point’s acting fire chief. "It’s very odd that the thing jumped out of the water and stung him. We still can’t believe it."

Fatal stingray attacks like the one that killed Irwin last month while he was swimming on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are rare, marine experts say. Rays reflexively deploy a sharp spine in their tails when frightened, but the venom coating the barb usually causes just a painful sting for humans. James Bertakis of Lighthouse Point was on the water off Florida with his granddaughter and a friend Wednesday when a stingray flopped onto the boat. Bertakis was apparently trying to remove the spotted eagle ray from the boat when he was stung, police Cmdr. Mike Oh said. The ray measured about a metre across.

The granddaughter and the friend steered the boat to shore and called 911. Doctors were able to remove the barb during surgery Wednesday and Thursday by eventually pulling it through his heart and closing the wound, said Dr. Eugene Costantini at Broward General Medical Center.

He said Bertakis’ case was different from Irwin’s because the barb stayed in Bertakis’ heart and was not pulled out. Videotape of Irwin’s last moments shows him pulling the barb from his chest. Ellen Pikitch, a professor of marine biology and fisheries at the University of Miami, who has been studying stingrays for decades, said they are generally docile.

"Something like this is really, really extraordinarily rare," she said. "Even when they are under duress, they don’t usually attack.’

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Headline, Industry News

Elderly man survives stingray stab

LIGHTHOUSE POINT, Fla. (AP) _ An 81-year-old man was in critical condition Thursday after a stingray flopped into his boat and stung him in the chest, leaving a 30-centimetre-long barb that penetrated his heart similar to the accident that killed "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin.

"It was a freak accident," said David Donzella, Lighthouse Point’s acting fire chief. "It’s very odd that the thing jumped out of the water and stung him. We still can’t believe it."

Fatal stingray attacks like the one that killed Irwin last month while he was swimming on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are rare, marine experts say. Rays reflexively deploy a sharp spine in their tails when frightened, but the venom coating the barb usually causes just a painful sting for humans. James Bertakis of Lighthouse Point was on the water off Florida with his granddaughter and a friend Wednesday when a stingray flopped onto the boat. Bertakis was apparently trying to remove the spotted eagle ray from the boat when he was stung, police Cmdr. Mike Oh said. The ray measured about a metre across.

The granddaughter and the friend steered the boat to shore and called 911. Doctors were able to remove the barb during surgery Wednesday and Thursday by eventually pulling it through his heart and closing the wound, said Dr. Eugene Costantini at Broward General Medical Center.

He said Bertakis’ case was different from Irwin’s because the barb stayed in Bertakis’ heart and was not pulled out. Videotape of Irwin’s last moments shows him pulling the barb from his chest. Ellen Pikitch, a professor of marine biology and fisheries at the University of Miami, who has been studying stingrays for decades, said they are generally docile.

"Something like this is really, really extraordinarily rare," she said. "Even when they are under duress, they don’t usually attack.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

Elderly man survives stingray stab

LIGHTHOUSE POINT, Fla. (AP) _ An 81-year-old man was in critical condition Thursday after a stingray flopped into his boat and stung him in the chest, leaving a 30-centimetre-long barb that penetrated his heart similar to the accident that killed "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin.

"It was a freak accident," said David Donzella, Lighthouse Point’s acting fire chief. "It’s very odd that the thing jumped out of the water and stung him. We still can’t believe it."

Fatal stingray attacks like the one that killed Irwin last month while he was swimming on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are rare, marine experts say. Rays reflexively deploy a sharp spine in their tails when frightened, but the venom coating the barb usually causes just a painful sting for humans. James Bertakis of Lighthouse Point was on the water off Florida with his granddaughter and a friend Wednesday when a stingray flopped onto the boat. Bertakis was apparently trying to remove the spotted eagle ray from the boat when he was stung, police Cmdr. Mike Oh said. The ray measured about a metre across.

The granddaughter and the friend steered the boat to shore and called 911. Doctors were able to remove the barb during surgery Wednesday and Thursday by eventually pulling it through his heart and closing the wound, said Dr. Eugene Costantini at Broward General Medical Center.

He said Bertakis’ case was different from Irwin’s because the barb stayed in Bertakis’ heart and was not pulled out. Videotape of Irwin’s last moments shows him pulling the barb from his chest. Ellen Pikitch, a professor of marine biology and fisheries at the University of Miami, who has been studying stingrays for decades, said they are generally docile.

"Something like this is really, really extraordinarily rare," she said. "Even when they are under duress, they don’t usually attack.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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