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Commercial Fisherman Medevaced After Stingray Sting Off Long Island

Mike Schuler
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September 29, 2021

A crew member from a Rhode Island-based fishing vessel had to be medevaced over the weekend after being struck by a stingray off Long Island, New York, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

The victim was medevaced from the commercial fishing vessel Shelby Ann approximately 40 miles southwest of Montauk on Sunday evening.

Watchstanders from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center received notification on VHF radio channel 16 that a crewmember was struck by a stingray barb below the knee and 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 conduct a hoist and medevac the injured man.

The patient was transferred safely to Rhode Island Hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.

Stingray injuries are caused by venomous spines along the animals’ tails, which they can whip up when attacked by predators or stepped on. Humans are typically stung in their lower limbs, usually when divers or swimmers accidentally step on them. Fatal stings are extremely rare, but not entirely unheard of. The most notable case being the 2006 death of Australian zookeeper and conservationist, Steve Irwin, aka “The Crocodile Hunter,” who was killed after being pierced in the chest by a stingray while filming in the Great Barrier Reef.

The fishing vessel Shelby Ann is homeported in Point Judith, Rhode Island.

Earlier this month, Coast Guard Sector New Orleans medevaced a commercial fishermen with a severe leg injury after a shark attack approximately 35 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana.

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