Paddler, 72, rescued after being stung by stingray in KZN

NSRI rescue equipment. (NSRI)
NSRI rescue equipment. (NSRI)

A 72-year-old man is in recovery after being stung by a Blue Stingray off Port Edward, KwaZulu-Natal.

Paramedics arrived to find the man 600m off-shore of the Mpenjati River mouth.

He was said to have been stung while fishing, and his arm had gone into paralysis. He was in severe pain and was unable to paddle, said John Nicholas, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Port Edward station commander.

Rescue officials brought the man to Glenmore Ski-Boat Club to be treated by paramedics and he was transported to hospital in a Med-Evac ambulance.

"We returned to sea on our NSRI rescue runner and recovered his paddle ski, which was brought to shore to be returned to the man," said Nicholas.

According to the Two Oceans Aquarium, the Blue Stingray (Dasyatis chrysonota) is found only in southern Africa and lives inshore along sandy beaches.

Not aggressive

It is one of the most common of the 14 whiptail stingrays known to frequent the southern African coast, write David Ebert and Paul Cowley in a Marine and Freshwater publication from 2004.

These animals can grow up to 25kg.

According to the Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases, stingrays are not aggressive creatures and stings do not usually result in fatalities.

"Envenomations caused by stingrays are relatively common in fishing communities, either from the sea or rivers. Such accidents have low lethality and high morbidity, and since they tend to occur in remote areas, they are usually neglected, unreported and treated with folk medicine," reads the journal Injuries by marine and freshwater stingrays: history, clinical aspects of the envenomations and current status of a neglected problem in Brazil article.

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