A rise in reports of weever fish stings on Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion beaches


Weaver fish has three poison spines on its back behind the head. The sting is not usually fatal but can be extremely painful unless treated rapidly. In some cases the sting can cause a very bad reaction, proving fatal where this reaction combines with an existing medical condition.

Date: 28/07/2011

Author: Eleri Davies, Lifeguard Press Officer

RNLI lifeguards in Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion have seen a rise of reports of weever fish sting incidences recently as thousands of people flock to the Welsh beaches to enjoy the summer sunshine. Three people were stung by weevers in Tenby yesterday, and a man had a very bad reaction to the weever’s venom on Newgale beach yesterday afternoon.

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RNLI lifeguards at Llangrannog and New Quay beaches in Ceredigion have also seen a rise in reports of weever fish stings as the temperatures have been slowly rising since the beginning of the school summer holidays.

The weever, which is a mainly brown coloured fish, hides in the sands in shallow water. The sea creature has sharp spines laced with venom along its dorsal fin which stick up out of the sand, and as many Pembrokeshire bathers experienced yesterday, can cause great pain if stood upon.

Phil Davies, RNLI Lifeguard Manager said:

‘It’s great to see people enjoying the Welsh beaches in this warm weather, but we would like to ask the public to be careful when walking in shallow water. A weever fish sting can be particularly painful and they are very hard to spot since they’re buried in the sand. Our advice to avoid being stung is to always wear some kind of footwear when walking in shallow water – whether it is a flip-flop or a jelly shoe.’

Phil continues:

‘If you find that you have stepped on a weever fish, or anything that causes you pain, please approach one of the RNLI lifeguards as soon as possible so that they can treat the injury.’

RNLI lifeguards are trained first aiders and receive the highest level of training before the start of each season.

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