A stingray makes the news again, this time in Florida. Yesterday a stingray leapt into an occupied boat.

Emergency personnel from Lighthouse Point near Miami reported that 81-year-old James Bertakis was in a small recreational boat with his grandchildren when the spotted eagle ray came aboard and struck the man in the chest.

Mr. Bertakis, a man in wonderful physical condition, underwent surgery to remove the poisonous barb and is expected to make a full recovery

Officials said that stingrays are seldom seen leaping in the air on Florida’s Intercoastal Waterway, calling this incident a “real freak thing.”

A spotted eagle ray, dangerous because of the venomous whip-like tail, can reach up to 16 feet long including the tail, and 9 feet wide. The largest weight on record is just over 500 pounds. The size of the stingray that struck Mr. Bertakis is unknown at this time.

Generally the ray is shy, wary of people, and difficult to approach.

“Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin’s death last month off the coast of Australia raised the profile of stingrays. Even in his death, the “Crikey guy” raised the world’s awareness of wildlife. He was stuck in the chest by a stingray and died shortly after.

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