Fish attack on angler sparks danger alert

Keen angler Kevin Donovan caught more than he bargained for when a weever fish (below) stung him, needing  hospital treatment.
Keen angler Kevin Donovan caught more than he bargained for when a weever fish (below) stung him, needing hospital treatment.
0
Have your say

An angler is warning others to beware after he was attacked by a poisonous fish off the coast of Blackpool.

Fishing fanatic Kevin Donovan was left needing hospital treatment after he was stung on his thumb by a dangerous weever fish.

A weeverfish

A weeverfish

Mr Donovan, 54, was fishing off the Promenade at Bispham when he was stung by a weever which he had caught.

He said: “I started reeling in this little fish which was about four inches long and I didn’t know what it was.

“Then it just bit me on the thumb, the pain was awful. It was like touching a spoon that had been on a fire for 20 minutes, it got really bad.”

Mr Donovan, of Red Bank Road, Bispham, took himself to Blackpool Victoria Hospital after the bite, which happened on Friday July 20.

After recovering from his injuries he now wants to raise awareness about weever fish to help others avoid the same fate.

The fish are mainly brown in colour and have poisonous spines on their first dorsal fins and gills.

They are native to the Mediterranean, Europe’s Atlantic coast, and the seas around the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Their main prey is shrimps and smaller fish, which they catch by burying themselves under the sand so only their eyes are visible.

The only recorded fatality caused by a weever fish in the UK is that of a fisherman on the Kent coast in 1927, while it is suspected a holidaymaker, from Portsmouth, also died as a result of a weever sting in Majorca in 1998.

Mr Donovan, who originally hails from London, moved to Bispham from Hereford in December with his wife Janet, 52.

Having previously lived inland he says he had not encountered the fish before.

He said: “A lot of people don’t know about them but people have died from it.”

Follow us on twitter @The_Gazette and like our page on facebook to keep up with all the latest news.