01/30/2019 - George Stopforth - New Zealand

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alb
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01/30/2019 - George Stopforth - New Zealand

Post by alb » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:21 pm

Teen Injured at Oreti Beach George Stopforth thought she was bitten by a sand shark at Invercargill's Oreti Beach on Tuesday night





Stingray or shark, whatever it was 'it was very painful'


Teen Injured at Oreti Beach

George Stopforth thought she was bitten by a sand shark at Invercargill's Oreti Beach on Tuesday night.

One of the teenager's friends, who was in the water with her and also bumped into the object in question, also thought it was a shark.

Although Stopforth concedes they could be wrong.

Many have since told her the culprit behind the wound was most likely a stingray - including the surf lifesavers who were on hand to help.

"It felt solid and round. It also gripped me, that's why I thought it was a shark. But a lot of people are saying it would have been a stingray," 17-year-old Stopforth said.

Helen Cadwallader, who is currently completing a doctorate on stingrays, said it was difficult to confirm if it was a stingray or not by the nature of the wound.

Although, she said there was a strong chance it was a stingray enjoying the warm water.

Cadwallader was aware of "three or four" people who had been stung by stingrays this summer and admitted it was unique that potentially two of them happened at Oreti Beach.

Tuesday night's incident was exactly one month to the day when Jamie Cunningham was struck in his foot and chest by a stingray at the Invercargill beach.
George Stopforth, 17, who was bitten by a shark or stung by a stingray at Oreti Beach, with her beach-going friends, from left, Ashlee Meikle, Bailey Turnbull, Sam Colyer, Cameron Wallace, and Anna Skerrett.
John Hawkins
George Stopforth, 17, who was bitten by a shark or stung by a stingray at Oreti Beach, with her beach-going friends, from left, Ashlee Meikle, Bailey Turnbull, Sam Colyer, Cameron Wallace, and Anna Skerrett.

She said when the sand heats up in the sun and the tide comes in, it heated up water which attracted stingrays.

​Cadwallader's advice to people, if they were were stung by a stingray, was to pour as hot water as bearable on the wound to help stifle the toxins from the stingray.

Whatever it was that left Stopforth with a nasty gash to her thigh, she said the experience was not pleasant.

She was boogie boarding with a group of friends in the shallow water at Oreti Beach when she was struck.

"It was very painful," she said.

Stopforth's friends quickly tended to her placing a tourniquet on her leg to halt the bleeding.

Members of the Oreti Surf Life Saving Club were conducting training in the area and were also able to assist.

A call was made for an ambulance but Stopforth's friends were advised to make their own way to hospital.

St John southern territory manager Robin Eustace said following the initial 111 call, a paramedic made an assessment via phone.

"It was agreed with the caller that private transport to Southland Hospital was appropriate," he said.
George Stopforth at Oreti Beach on Tuesday after being attacked by a sand shark or a stingray.
Supplied
George Stopforth at Oreti Beach on Tuesday after being attacked by a sand shark or a stingray.

A mother of one of the teenagers transported Stopforth.

The wound was cleared up, x-ray completed, 12 staples inserted, and Stopforth was sent home with a story to tell.

The Southland Girls' High School pupil has not been put off returning to Oreti Beach, as has her friends who were with her when the incident occurred.

In fact as they gathered at Stopforth's Invercargill home on Wednesday, her friends were already contemplating going for another swim.

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