Aussie teen’s feet blood­ied by mys­tery sea crea­tures

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

An Aus­tralian teenager emerged from a night-time dip in the ocean with blood stream­ing from his feet and an­kles in a grue­some mys­tery that doc­tors have strug­gled to ex­plain. Sam Kanizay waded waist-deep into the wa­ter at Brighton Beach in sub­ur­ban Mel­bourne on Sat­ur­day evening, stand­ing still for about 30 min­utes. When he came out of the sea he was bleed­ing pro­fusely from the calves down. “The cold wa­ter numbed my legs. I felt what I thought was pins and nee­dles but maybe it wasn’t just pins and nee­dles,” the 16-year-old told 3AW ra­dio yes­ter­day.

Wash­ing the blood off his legs in the shower did lit­tle to stem the flow from what his fam­ily be­lieved was an at­tack by sea lice. “It sort of looked like hun­dreds of lit­tle pin holes or pin-sized bites dis­trib­uted all over my an­kle and the top of my foot,” he said. Kanizay, who was rushed to hos­pi­tal, said doc­tors could not ex­plain what had caused the in­jury.

“We had a few peo­ple guess­ing that it was sea lice, but no one re­ally had any ideas.” His fa­ther went as far as scoop­ing some of the tiny crit­ters from the ocean and post­ing a film on­line of them de­vour­ing small chunks of meat.

Some re­ports cited ex­perts point­ing in­stead to stingrays or jel­ly­fish as the sus­pected cul­prits. But Jeff Weir, from the Dol­phin Re­search In­sti­tute, said the in­jury was likely caused by op­por­tunis­tic am­phipods, a tiny crus­tacean that latches onto de­cay­ing plant or an­i­mal mat­ter to help break it down. “They are not there to eat us, but some­times they might take a lit­tle bit, like mos­qui­toes and leeches and other things out there in the en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

“He (Kanizay) must have been very, very cold and he wouldn’t have felt it,” added Weir, who ex­pe­ri­enced a sim­i­lar in­jury on his fore­head af­ter a night dive 40 years ago. The veteran ma­rine re­searcher said Kanizay’s in­jury was much like a graze and he should not fear re­turn­ing to the wa­ter. “I don’t think there has been any­thing that has changed, there just aren’t that many peo­ple that stand re­ally still for that long.”— AFP

MEL­BOURNE: In this pic­ture at San­dring­ham Hos­pi­tal in Mel­bourne, teenager Sam Kanizay’s feet are seen cov­ered in what looked like hun­dreds of bleed­ing lit­tle pin holes.— AP

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