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In shallow, warm waters lurks a fish we weren't aware existed. When you step on it, the pain increases by the minute and becomes unbearable, compared by many to that one of a broken bone.

When you have no experience with such a situation is hard to come up with an idea of what to do. We were helped by a passing surfer who recognized the symptoms and hinted that the leg should be immediately dipped in hot water with few drops of citric acid. Easy to say, do harder because the pain does not allow you to take a few steps ...

It is all due to the weever fish, or more precisely, its venom spike, which proudly protrudes on its back. It can be found from the North to the Black Sea.



It is crucial to act quickly. Within a few minutes, immerse the sting site in water with a temperature above 40 °C / 104 °F. This neutralizes the toxin. Otherwise, the pain and swelling may take days to subside. Several hundred cases are reported annually on Spanish and Portuguese beaches, sometimes by fishers stung in the hand when taking fish off the hook. Deaths are extremely rare. The most common symptoms of a weever fish sting include severe pain, fever, swelling, nausea, vomiting, headache, low blood pressure, itching, fainting, tremors, seizures, abdominal cramps.

If you feel growing pain after coming out of the water, take a close look, the marks made by the spike are visible on the skin in the form of a small dot:

  1. Don't panic
  2. Do not dip your leg/hand in cold water
  3. If there is a lifeguard nearby - call him
  4. If there is no lifeguard nearby, look around. Maybe there is a bar, or a camper, any place that can offer you a bowl of hot water. Immerse your foot in very hot water (40 °C / 104 °F) for no less than 30 minutes.
  5. In case of other unwellness - you should immediately seek medical assistance

If you plan to walk near the rocks in shallow water, it is safest to wear water shoes, (Spanish fanqueras or cangrejeras).

This situation has happened 2 times recently to us. The good news is that it hurts less each time, so about 10 more times and the sting complications will not be felt ...



Un Saludo:)!

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About the Author

Dora Mandora - passionate about technology, photography, travel, sport and healthy living. Professionally: web & graphic designer and photographer. With camera in hand explores the Iberian Peninsula's southern reaches.


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