Tasmanian Man Dies After Suspected Stingray Jab To The Abdomen
A 42-year-old man out for a leisurely swim on Saturday afternoon has died after a suspected stingray injury, Tasmania Police has confirmed.
The man had been bathing close to shore at Lauderdale Beach when he suffered a puncture wound to his lower abdomen about 3pm.
Friends pulled him from the water and called emergency services, who found the man in cardiac arrest. Attempts to resuscitate the man were not successful.
"Initial indications are that the wound was possibly inflicted by a marine animal although the incident is not shark related," police said.
An investigation has been launched, but police confirmed that the death is not being treated as suspicious.
Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman told the ABC the council would consider closing the beach if advised, but that he was not aware of any other stingray attacks in the same area.
Stingray injuries aren't uncommon but deaths are extremely rare. The most famous case of a stingray-related death is of course Steve Irwin, who died in 2006 after being pierced in the heart while filming a documentary.
At the time, Dr Bryan Fry, deputy director of the Australian Venom Research Unit at the University of Melbourne, told Reuters that stingray venom was "extraordinarily painful", and that if Irwin had been conscious, "he would have been in agony".
Stingray tails are covered in rows of sharp, flat spines, which can cause severe injury.
"It's not the going in, it's the coming out," Fry said.
"[The tails] have these deep serrations which tear and render the flesh as it comes out."
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