A 42-year-old Australian man died Saturday after a suspected stingray attack while he was swimming at a beach, police said.
The unidentified man was in the water near Lauderdale Beach around 3 p.m. Saturday when he was stung by a stingray, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported. He suffered an injury to his lower abdomen and went into cardiac arrest.
“Attempts to resuscitate the male were unsuccessful,” Tasmania police said in a statement. “…He was removed from the water by friends prior to the arrival of emergency services. It was reported he was unaccompanied in the water at the time of sustaining a puncture wound to his lower abdomen.”
The man’s friends and family gathered at the beach Sunday and held a private ceremony, ABC reported.
The beach, about 9 miles east of Hobart in Tasmania, is a popular swimming destination but also known to have smooth stingrays, the largest kind in Australia, and skates lurking in the water. Smooth stingrays are considered not aggressive and seen by divers, the Australian Museum wrote on its website.
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“So sad. I have seen large stingrays in shallows at Lauderdale Beach while wading,” a Facebook user wrote on ABC’s post.
Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said Saturday officials would consider closing the beach if necessary following the man’s death.
“It’s a dreadful accident, I’m actually shocked. My prayers go out to the family and friends of the man,” Chipman told ABC. “I’m not aware of any other stingray attacks on the beach there but we will be taking advice from the experts and from Tasmania Police in terms of public safety.”