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Old 09-03-2006, 10:21 PM
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So Steve Irwin the "Crocodile Hunter" died from a Sting Ray barb going into his chest. Does anyone have any advice about going snorkeling with sting rays? My husband and I are booked on a trip in Grand Cayman to go to "Sting Ray City". Um, not so sure now.
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:45 PM
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WOW, I just read that too. I wonder what type of stingray. The article I read said they thought was from cardiac arrest. I have never done the Stingray City but want to. I will for sure check more into this. I am sure are different types of Rays. I was snorkeling right in front of the lifeguard stand at Trunk Bay once and inadvertantly disturbed a huge one buried in the sand. It scared the crap out of me. Had a wingspan of at least 5 feet. Lifeguard said it just startled me and just don't step on them. Well thank God I was snorkeling and not walking

Very strange creatures. I notice when I fish off the pier that they swim together in formation like ducks when flying.

I have heard the Rays at Stingray City are very docile and tame, and are so well fed and use to humans. I will personally do more research now though. I do hate to hear about Mr. Erwin dying he was quite a unique and entertaining person.
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:20 AM
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I just heard on CNN that they think a barb went into Steve Erwin's heart. They also showed one of the smaller barbs. It was probably 3 or 4 inches long. Erwin was swimming on top of the stingray and that probably agitated it. So sad. I'm definitely going to give stingrays a wide berth from now on when I'm snorkeling. I don't think I would be worried about the ones at some place like Stingray City though. One other thing mentioned was the possible infection if your skin is punctured by a stingray. That might be the only thing to worry about for most of us.
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Old 09-04-2006, 06:28 AM
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Disaster? I don't think I'd go that far. As tragic as it is, Steve Irwin is not the first person to die from a stingray barb puncture. I imagine several people die from them each year. I wouldn't let it affect my plans for Stingray City, although I expect this news story will indeed impact the tour business for at least a little while.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:49 AM
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The article I read (MSNBC online) said that death from a stingray sting is extremely rare. It was just an unlucky accident that the barb hit Mr. Irwin where it did (it did enter his heart). He was known for taking great risks; in some ways I'm surprised he wasn't killed earlier, by some kind of wild animal encounter. Too bad nonetheless, especially for his young family.
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Old 09-04-2006, 08:51 AM
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We did Stingray City last year and IslandCruz is right, they are very used to humans. There are boatloads out there all the time and the guides were handling them and we were too. We enjoyed the interaction, even my son who was 7. You might feel some suction when you feed them, they say it's like a hickey!! (I didn't feed them!) And when they glide past their wings skim over over your legs and sides, bit weird at first. I am sure by the time you go the guides will be able to answer any queries you have, they are very knowledgeable. Enjoy.
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:05 AM
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There has only been 3 deaths related to a stingrays since they been keeping records. At least that's what I heard on fox news when interviewing a doctor this morning. Hundreds of painfull injuries though. Mostly from stepping on them when they are in the sand. I wouldn't be too concerned about the stingrays in Stingray City.
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:27 AM
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We did the stingray excursion (booked ourselves) in 2004 and it was amazing. We stood waist deep in calm gorgeous waterand everything went well. The following year we hosted several siblings and their mates (all first time cruisers) and it was quite dreadful. The ship cancelled their excursion due to rough seas. We should have taken the hint and cancelled with our charter (same one as previous year). It was very rough, they could hardly see the stingrays. They all had lifejackets on and even then, my older sister almost drowned as she got pulled under the boat. The boat couldn't even stop on the sandbar so they had to swim over. all in all, quite an exciting day for them. Post cruise, I wrote to the charter and complained that they should have cancelled. To my surprise and their credit, they mailed me a refund of most of the cost. So pay attention to the ship's cancellations or book through them. Do it, you'll love it. Don't forget your own water camera.
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Old 09-04-2006, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SONNYV:
There has only been 3 deaths related to a stingrays since they been keeping records. At least that's what I heard on fox news when interviewing a doctor this morning. Hundreds of painfull injuries though. Mostly from stepping on them when they are in the sand. I wouldn't be too concerned about the stingrays in Stingray City.
Interesting. I thought the deaths would have been higher - mostly from Pacific areas. But the bottom line is it is an infrequent thing.

When I was in the Marines and stationed in Subic Bay, another Marine was bitten by a sea snake while swimming just off the beach. He lived but it was a touch and go for a while. Sea snakes are very deadly. It didn't keep any of us from going back in the water.

I was really saddened to hear of Irwin's death. I liked him. But he lived a life of danger and no doubt had a higher chance of something bad happening than most of us face. But with him, I always expected it would be a bite from a puff adder or cobra.
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Old 09-04-2006, 07:22 PM
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You have nothing to worry about.
I have done the Stingray City thing 4 times.
Most recently with my 9 and 13 year old.
The stingrays there have grown up around and are used to being pet by humans.
 
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