A crew member of a Rhode Island-based fishing vessel had to be evacuated over the weekend after being struck by a stingray off Long Island, New York, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.
The victim was evacuated from the commercial fishing vessel Shelby Ann about 40 miles southwest of Montauk on Sunday night.
Watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center received notification on VHF radio channel 16 that a crewmember had been struck by a stingray barb below the knee and was showing signs of shock.
The command center consulted with a U.S. Coast Guard flight surgeon who recommended medical evacuation. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod launched and deployed a rescue swimmer to perform a lift and medical evacuation of the injured man.
The patient was safely transported to Rhode Island Hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.
Stingray injuries are caused by the venomous spines on the tails of these animals, which they can raise when attacked by predators or stepped on. People are often stung on the lower extremities, usually when divers or swimmers accidentally step on them. Fatal stings are extremely rare, but not entirely unknown. The most notable case is the 2006 death of Australian zoologist and conservationist Steve Irwin, aka “The Crocodile Hunter,” who died after being pierced in the chest by a stingray while filming on the Great Barrier Reef.
The fishing vessel Shelby Ann is based out of Point Judith, Rhode Island.
Earlier this month, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans evacuated a commercial fisherman with a serious leg injury after a shark attack about 35 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana.