Stingray victim describes 'intense' pain from barb to chest

Invercargill man Jamie Cunningham has described the dramatic moment he was stung by a stingray.

The 48-year old was out boogie-boarding with family at Oreti Beach when he took a stingray barb to the chest.

He told Newshub the pain was excruciating.

"The right leg just collapsed under me, the next thing I know almost like a whip hits me under the ribs on the left hand side and I just go down, it's just painful."

Mr Cunningham tried to make his way to shore, but quickly realised something wasn't quite right.

"The pain in my ribs was getting quite intense, I sort of started to make my way back to the shore and then I found that my breath was getting shorter and shorter."

He was treated at the beach by off duty first responders and quickly rushed to hospital. Once he was there he realised the injury could have been a lot worse.

"It turned out it hadn't punctured a lung, it hadn't gone quite as far as that, but there was quite a large puncture wound in between the ribs."

Mr Cunningham underwent surgery at Southland Hospital and is now recovering. He has the utmost respect for the staff that treated him.

The incident hasn't put him off the ocean though, he's very aware that this was simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"If they see you coming they'll get out of the way, but when you're galloping along like I was they don't see you coming, they don't have a chance.

"One foot in the wrong place and [it] took four days out of my holiday."


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