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Fishing boat crewman stung by stingray

The US Coast Guard received a call for

The US Coast Guard received a call for a commercial fisherman stung by a sting ray. The fisherman was fishing on a vessel located about fifteen miles offshore when he was trying to remove the sting ray from a net. (July 2, 2012) Credit: Jim Staubitser

A crewman on an Atlantic Ocean fishing vessel was admitted to the hospital after a stingray hauled up in a net stung his pinkie yesterday afternoon, authorities said.

The man, 30, was aboard the Provider, a 76-foot commercial fishing vessel, when the catch was pulled onto the decks about 15 miles south of Long Beach, about 2:45 p.m., the Coast Guard said.

"The stingray came out in the net," Lt. Fannie Wilks said. "When they were trying to deal with the stingray . . . he caught the barb of it with his hand. He cut one of his fingers pretty severely and he had a lot of bleeding."

The Provider raced toward Jones Beach and was met part way by a Coast Guard boat, where medics stopped much of the bleeding before taking the man ashore, Wilks said.

The man's name was not released.

He was in satisfactory condition Monday night and was admitted for observation at Nassau University Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said.

Wilks said the stingray was thrown back into the water. Stingrays are common in shallow waters off the Island, said marine biologist Todd Gardner of the Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center in Riverhead, which houses stingrays.

Some stingrays have skin-covered spiny tails with barbs that can tear up people's flesh and leave behind bacteria and bits of stingray tissue, he said.

But stingrays are not aggressive, Gardner added. He said he's heard of only a handful of people stung along the East Coast, usually when boaters catch a stingray and its tail begins whipping around.

"I have never heard of someone locally being spined by one of these things," the biologist said. "It's not the kind of injury you get unprovoked. Usually people get stung in the process of catching one of these things or harassing it, diving and grabbing onto it, trying to get a ride."

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