Boater Stabbed in Chest by Stingray Fla.
Oct 19, 10:41 AM (ET)
LIGHTHOUSE POINT, Fla. (AP) - An 81-year-old boater was in critical condition Thursday after a stingray flopped onto his boat and stung him, leaving a foot-long barb in his chest, authorities said.
"It was a freak accident," said Lighthouse Point acting fire Chief David Donzella. "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 "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin last month 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 with his granddaughter and a friend Wednesday when the stingray flopped onto the boat and stung Bertakis. The women steered the boat to shore and called 911.
Surgeons were able to remove some of the barb, and Bertakis, who also suffered a collapsed lung, underwent surgery late Wednesday and early Thursday, the Miami Herald reported on its web site.
Ellen Pikitch, a professor of marine biology and fisheries at the
, who has been studying stingrays for decades, said they are generally docile. Universityof Miami
"Something like this is really, really extraordinarily rare," she said. "Even when they are under duress, they don't usually attack."
Three times in the space of a 217 word story they mentioned that being stabbed by a stingray is very rare.
I'm throwing the BS flag right here and now.
Steve Irwin gets killed by a stingray. Crikey, that's unusual (and tragic).
Now this guy gets nearly killed in the very same fashion except, more horrifying, the stingray jumped into the guy's boat and stabbed him. This wasn’t "Mr Irwin got too close and scared the little bugger which was just protecting itself." This was "Joe citizen critically stabbed by senseless stingray violence."
The ray jumped out of the water to stab him. I cannot stress this point enough. Who needs horror movies this Halloween when we have true stories like this? This sounds like the enemy has the gift of brief flight added to its gift of a big ass barb on a whip.
I'll never sleep again.
I'm not normally an alarmist but I'm tellin' ya right here and now: If'n I see a stingray cross my property line, I'm taking 'im out. I'm locked and loaded, baby, and I'm fightin' back.
I'm about *this* close to burying some anti-ray mines in the yard.
Gotta run, I need to scrouge up some Kevlar pajamas for me and my honey (can't wear the vest all day long, right?).