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Re: Sting Ray stabs man in South Florida


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Posted by on October 19, 2006 at 12:14:59:

In Reply to: Sting Ray stabs man in South Florida posted by on October 19, 2006 at 12:13:17:

MIAMI (Reuters) - A leaping stingray stabbed an 81-year-old Florida boater in the chest, authorities said on Wednesday, leaving its poisonous stinger lodged close to his heart in an incident recalling the one that killed Australian TV naturalist Steve Irwin last month.

Fire Department officials in Lighthouse Point, about 30 miles north of Miami, said James Bertakis was in a small recreational boat with two grandchildren on Tuesday when the spotted eagle ray leaped aboard and struck him.

"It's just a real freak thing," Lt. Mike Sullivan told Reuters, saying the incident occurred on Florida's Intercoastal Waterway, where stingrays are rarely seen leaping in the air.

"For an 81-year-old man he's in really good shape," Sullivan added, saying Bertakis was expected to make a full recovery after surgery at a local hospital to have the stinger removed from his chest.

"Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, 44, died when a stingray's stinger punctured his heart off Australia's north coast last month. It was one of only a handful of stingray fatalities on record.



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