Tourist's Foot Speared by Sting Ray Barb in Whitsundays

RACQ CQ Rescue has transferred a tourist to the hospital tonight after he was speared in the foot by a stingray barb in the Whitsundays.

The 39-year-old Victorian man was walking in shallow water on Whitehaven Beach on Wednesday afternoon when he stood on a stingray and the marine creature’s tail barb was speared through the top of his right foot.

Overnight the wound became seriously infected and the patient required treatment at the medical centre on Hamilton Island.

An RACQ CQ Rescue spokesperson said the helicopter was tasked about 6.30pm tonight and arrived at Hamilton Island just after 7 pm with a rescue crewman and paramedic aboard.

Stingray barbs were covered in a row of sharp, flat spines and had the venom-secreting tissue. Venomous tail spines or stingers can cause local trauma, pain, swelling and muscle cramps from the venom as well as possible infection from bacteria, the spokesperson said.

The tourist was in significant pain from the barb, his foot very swollen and inflamed, and he was transferred to Mackay Base Hospital for further treatment arriving at 8 pm in a stable condition.

The helicopter returned to base at Mackay Airport at 8.30 pm.