Teenage boy, 16, drowns after being stung on his neck by weever fish
Teenage boy, 16, drowns after being stung on his neck by weever fish while snorkelling off Costa Brava beach
- The unnamed boy’s body was recovered from the sea off the resort Playa d’Aro
- His parents raised the alarm after he disappeared while out snorkelling in the sea
- It is not confirmed but an autopsy has pointed to a fish sting being behind it
A teenager has died after being stung by a venomous weever fish off a Costa beach.
An initial post-mortem into the 16-year-old’s death has concluded he went into anaphylactic shock which could have been caused by the poison the fish unleashed.
The unnamed boy’s body was recovered from the sea off the popular resort of Playa d’Aro on the Costa Brava 70 miles north of Barcelona.
His parents raised the alarm after he disappeared while out snorkelling.
Pictured: Emergency services and police one the beach off Playa d’Aro trying to rescue the teenager
Pictured: The popular Playa d’Aro on the Costa Brava on the Costa Brava 70 miles north of Barcelona
He is said to have suffered a small wound in his neck, near his Adam’s apple, and marks on his face which were not consistent with a normal drowning.
An autopsy has pointed to a fish sting being behind his death, although forensic experts are still awaiting the results of toxicology tests.
Investigators have been handed a video recording said to contain footage of the attack, which the teenager’s parents have attributed to a type of weever fish.
The fish has been identified locally as a spotted weever.
Weever fish stings can be very painful and lead to swelling and reddening of the foot and have been known to trigger heart attacks or cause severe allergic reactions.
They normally sting peoples’ feet because they spent most of their time buried in the sand, embedding their spines as they discharge their poison.
A huge blaze that started in a hut at Bournemouth beach last month was started after a kettle was boiled to treat a suspected weever fish sting.
Hut owner Fiona Tew, 36, told at the time how it became engulfed in flames after she started heating water to treat her young nephew’s pain and went to get cold water from another tap.
The Spanish boy at the centre of the fish sting tragedy comes from Montagut i Oix, an inland municipality around an hour and a half’s drive from Playa d’Aro where he lost his life.
Although he has not been named, his parents have released a statement saying the video handed to police shows the teenager finding a jellyfish 100 metres from the beach as he was snorkelling which ‘took him to a strange and colourful fish with a harmless-looking face.’
They said in the statement, carried by local press: ‘He was only able to film it for 30 seconds from a distance and at the last second it disappeared and bit him around the jaw area.’
Weever fish are found in the Mediterranean as well as the Atlantic and in summer they are frequently found near the coast.
Beau Gillet, an RNLI lifeguard supervisor, told earlier this month: ‘I’ve seen grown men cry from the pain’ after a warning was issued to beachgoers following hundreds of stings linked to a UK heatwave.
Lifeguards in Cornwall reportedly treated more than 70 people in just a week for the sting.
Recommendations for treatment following a sting include soaking in hot water and removing the spines from the skin with tweezers or a bank card.
Playa d’Aro is a short drive north of Sant Pol beach where a member of Spain’s Paralympic swimming team was forced to out-sprint two sharks in May.
Ariel Schrenck went up a gear after hearing his mum shouting from the shoreline when she spotted two tell-tale fins and saw the animals heading in his direction.
The 19-year-old, part of the Spanish team that took part in last year’s World Para Swimming Allianz Championships in London, was training at the time.
He told a Spanish TV interviewer after his shock experience: ‘I stopped for a second to get my breath back when I saw my mum shouting like a madwoman.
‘I felt terrible panic at that moment and began to swim like mad. I think it’s the fastest 100 metres I’ve ever done.’
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