BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 5 July, 2001, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Bathers on weever fish alert
Weever fish
The weever fish immerses itself in the sand
Bathers along Britain's coastline are being warned to be on the look-out for the country's most dangerous fish.

The weever fish is more venomous than many jellyfish and as poisonous as the stingray.

Chris Pring, from the Oceanarium at Bournemouth, said: "The fish immerses itself in the sand and, if any dark shadows appear over it, it'll release its sting and put it in the up position."

The poisonous fish is predominately found near beaches along the south coast of Wales and England because they like warm shallow water.


If you do get stung the most effective treatment is to put the affected limb in water as hot as the victim can stand

Darren Williams, Bournemouth Oceanarium
Last year more than 200 bathers were injured by the weever in the south of England.

The pain from the sting is described as excruciating, turning the foot red and swollen.

The fish's spine can break off in the foot, causing severe discomfort until it is removed.

Darren Williams, manager of Bournemouth's Oceanarium, said there are basic precautions that swimmers can take to avoid getting stung.

Seek treatment

He said: "The simplest is to wear some form of footwear when you're in the water.

"If you do get stung the most effective treatment is to put the affected limb in water as hot as the victim can stand without causing scolding.

"This brings about rapid and permanent relief."

Mr Williams advised that people stung by the weever fish in Bournemouth should approach the nearest Beach Lifeguard or the Oceanarium who will treat the sting.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

05 Jul 01 | Wales
Killer fish on our shores
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories