Ramsgate RNLI launched to injured fisherman with severe Weever fish stings

Lifeboats News Release

On Sunday 24 June at 12.57pm the all-weather lifeboat 'Esme Anderson' was launched at the request of HM Coastguard to recover a fisherman with severe Weever fish stings on his hands from a local angling boat.

Weever fish

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Weever fish

When the lifeboat reached the fishing boat which was five miles off shore, the casualty was transferred onboard where he was given immediate medical attention. A crew member was then placed onboard the fisherman’s boat so that it could be brought back into the harbour whilst the lifeboat returned immediately to Ramsgate Lifeboat station.

As luck would have it, the local RNLI lifeguards were holding a first aid training session at the station and the tutor was able to make a quick assessment and offer advice.

He also said that Weever fish stings are extremely common but they can also become serious if there is a bad reaction. An extract from the British Marine Life Study Society explains how it can feel:

‘Beware of a little (> 10 cm) sandy coloured fish that lives in the English Channel. It spends most of the time actually buried under the sea bed with just its venomous dorsal fin showing above the sandy bottom. On the rare occasions when it is plentiful, rows of erect black triangles decorate the sandy floor of the sea bed.

Woe betide a bather who steps upon a buried fish. The pain is usually described as excruciating as the spines embed into the human flesh and discharge their venom. The pain is at its most intense for the first two hours when the foot goes red and swells up and is then it feels numb until the following day with irritation and pain that may last for up to two weeks. Sometimes, the spine breaks off in the foot and it will cause discomfort until it is removed.’

After the treatment the casualty was taken to the local A&E hospital.

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea with an average of 22 people a day being aided and it relies entirely on public donations.

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Media Contacts

Karen Cox Lifeboat Press Officer coxinthebox63@gmail.com tel 07779848431.

Paul Dunt Regional Media Officer for London and the South East. Paul_Dunt@rnli.org.uk tel nos. 0778520296252.

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789


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