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October 19, 2006
Stingray Stabs Man in Heart
After what happened to "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, this story is really unbelievable. James Bertakis, 81, of Lighthouse Point, Florida was in a boat with his granddaughters when a stingray flopped into the boat and stung him.
The barb pierced his lung and entered the left ventricle of his heart. Doctors have been able to remove it by pulling the barb through and have repaired the holes. Right now he's stable and his heart is functioning well.
Carl Luer, senior scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, who studies sharks and rays, said spotted eagle rays often jump completely out of the water, although no one is sure why. "It can be very dramatic," he said.
That is certainly an understatement.