Daily Star

Warning as killer fish stings four paddlers

- ■ by TOM HUTCHISON tom.hutchison@dailystar.co.uk

HOLIDAYMAK­ERS have been warned of paddling barefoot in the sea after four people were stung by a fish that can kill.

The weever fish comes into shallow water in warm weather and buries itself in the sand.

It stabs a small venomous into the foot that can trigger attacks and fatal reactions.

Four people – including children – have been stung on Criccieth beach in Gwynedd at the weekend.

A warning has now been issued by spike heart the RNLI over the spiny creatures, that are about four inches long.

RNLI crew member Ifer Gwyn said: “We have had four incidents over the bank holiday weekend and that’s just Criccieth beach.

“If you do get stung, put the affected foot into warm water – that dissolves the poison’s toxicity within around 15 minutes.

“You should do that as soon as you can and if the pain does not go away go to A&E or see a doctor.” Victims may believe they have scratched themselves on a sharp stone but significan­t pain follows two or three minutes later.

An RNLI Criccieth spokesman said: “Following multiple cases of people being stung by weever fish on Criccieth beach, we urge beachgoers to wear appropriat­e footwear whilst paddling.”

In a single week in July last year, lifeguards at Perranport­h in Cornwall dealt with 26 stings.

Marine biologists and coastal scientists from the University of Plymouth have joined forces to find out why the tiny fish tend to hang around in certain areas, what they do there and what is most likely to make them sting.

Dr Benjamin Ciotti, a lecturer in marine biology, said: “These notorious little fish can’t be blamed for defending themselves.

“But we do hope that our research will help reduce the risks of getting stung by them.”

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