Stingray Attack

By-Greg Blomfield

Stingray Attack

Stingray Attack

My three bros (Duncan, Andy and Sam) and I were up north at the bach, over the holidays. While waiting for mum and dad to join us we thought a quick trip to the scallop bed would be in order. With less than an hour for the round trip in our boat we decided we could also include a cray dive first.

Andy and Duncan donned dive gear and off they went hunting while Sam and I snorkelled – still keeping watch for crayfish. We arrived back at the boat first as we were to move the boat to collect Duncan and Andy if required. A fair distance away Duncan suddenly surfaced, screaming for help. A thousand scenarios ran through my head: shark attack, bends, stuck in a current, in a net, even cramp. Andy then surfaced near the boat, unaware of the situation, and as he boarded, I full throttled to Duncan’s rescue. In my haste gear tumbled over the back … not that I was worried, there was more at stake here.

We motored the 100m to Duncan who was in terrible pain and saying something about a stingray. Andy jumped in to help as Dunks appeared to be struggling to stay on the surface. We hauled him aboard, minding his leg as we saw a massive barb sticking out of it.

Duncan told us he had been diving over good ground with plenty of kelp when suddenly he felt something grab his leg. He though from the force and the way he was grabbed that it was a massive crayfish (or us fooling around) and whatever it was started to shake him about. He then felt a ‘thing’ around his leg tighten and pain started to creep in. Reaching down to free himself from it Duncan realised that it was not only big … but it wasn’t a crayfish, nor me skylarking about! It was like a man’s arm wrapped around his leg. In the process of struggling to detach it, the barb broke off in his leg. He saw a milky-like substance in the surrounding water, and a brief glimpse of a dark shape disappearing into the murky distance. Duncan headed for the surface, and screamed for help.


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