Painful Stone fish Encounter

A WARNING to watch out after a man was stung by a stonefish when he was collecting his cast net at Riverview. Brenton Wilson who is a member of Elliott Heads Surf Life Saving Club took to social media to notify others to be aware of the fish. “I was casting the net around the oyster rocks at low tide near the Riverview Jetty to collect bait as I was shaking it out I thought a small moss covered rock fell out of the net and onto my finger,” Mr Wilson said. “Less than half a minute later the area that was hit started to sting and a hot pain was radiating from the area. “I had a look at the moss covered rock and it turned out to be a small stonefish.” Mr Wilson said the pain was minimal for him but could only imagine if it was a child who had been stung. “I threw the cast net a few more times before I went home and applied some hot water therapy,” he said. He said after a few days there was localised swelling and joint pain in the immediate sting area, which increased throughout the next 24hours. “I attended the doctors who advised there may be a secondary infection from the microbes that are present in the muddy mossy covering of the stonefish,” Mr Wilson said. “Of more concern was the potential for tetanus infection, though my immunisations are up to date so this is not an issue. “I never walk without foot protection in the area as it is known to be a stonefish habitat and discourage my children from walking around that area for not only that, but also the risk of oyster cuts.” Surf Life Saving Queensland Wide Bay Capricorn regional manager Craig Holden said stings from stonefish normally occur on the hand or foot but they had not treated any in the past few years. “We see two or three specimens per season and they are found most commonly around areas where people launch their boats,” Mr Holden said. “It’s important for people to be aware along any coastal area, rocky or river environment. “The good thing is people don’t normally swim in these areas.” Mr Holden said different people could react differently to a stonefish sting and being aware of treatment and first aid would be beneficial. Fast facts: STONEFISH are found in all coastal waters and some fresh water sites. Although there are no reported deaths in Australia, stonefish stings can be potentially fatal. Stonefish spine penetration can result in severe and persistent pain and in these cases the patient should be transported to the nearest hospital immediately for treatment. First aid for stone fish stings involves washing the wound site immediately and soaking the affected area in hot but not scolding water, ideally 44C, for up to 90 minutes may relieve the pain.

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