Stingray Caused Injury Yesterday, Not Shark
Elissa Jarvis, Lead Reporter Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Yesterday, a fifth shark bite was reported to have happened around 6th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. We can now confirm that the swimmer was not bitten by a shark, but instead stung by a stringray.
Reports are that 16-year-old Matthew Breen was swimming near 6th Avenue North yesterday when he felt a sharp pain in his foot and then noticed a lot of blood in the water. After getting out of the ocean, his foot went numb and he couldn’t move it. Breen, lifeguards and EMS on site thought it was another shark bite after four people claimed to be bitten by sharks in Myrtle Beach last week. Photos of those bites have been sent to a team of researchers at the University of Florida for further review. Doctors at the hospital who treated Breen told him his injuries were actually from being stung by a stringray. Doctors have released Breen from the hospital and expect him to make a full recovery.
Stingrays do not aggressively attack humans and typically only sting a person if they get stepped on. Stringray injuries are very painful but are not normally life-threatening. To avoid stepping on a stringray it is best to shuffle through shallow water. Many aquariums, including Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach allow visitors to pet or swim with stingrays.