Man wounded in fish attack
MULLET BAY--A male tourist was bitten on his ankle/shin after a vicious attack by a big fish at the Mullet Bay beach Wednesday afternoon. The incident caused great consternation at the scene.
The victim was rushed to St. Maarten Medical Center in a police car for medical treatment. The ambulance that was requested with urgency at the Mullet Bay beach got stuck in the sand and could not make it back.
Police spokesman Chief Inspector Johan “Janchi” Leonard told The Daily Herald the police had received notification at approximately 4:45pm of a man seriously wounded at sea. A fish had bitten him, but no one could tell what kind of fish it was.
Janchi said the bite wound was very deep, almost to the bone, and that it had a round shape. The police at the scene had no expertise to draw any conclusion from the shape of the wound.
“All we know is that witnesses said that it was a big fish. Whether it was a shark or a barracuda we cannot say,” Leonard stated.
Based on the advice of Doctor Hidde Deketh, who quickly rushed to the beach to give the victim first medical attention, the police used a bullhorn to order all persons to get out of the water.
“The man was bleeding heavily from the wound. This attracted several little fish and the doctor advised to get everyone out of the water before bigger fish came in,” according to Leonard.
The news of the attack spread like wildfire over St. Maarten Wednesday afternoon and people started speculating on the type of fish that could have carried out such an attack.
Several people believe that it could have been a shark, but others said it could also have been a barracuda ((ray-finned fish notable for their fearsome appearance and large size, up to six feet or more in length and up to a foot in width) or an eel.
The “fish attack” victim was urgently transported to St. Maarten Medical Center where doctors were already waiting for his arrival. The incident happened so quickly, Janchi said, that police had no time to check the tourist’s name and country of origin. “The police officers at the scene were requesting an ambulance with great urgency,” Janchi said.
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