Flying Stingray Stinger Skewers Boy, in Freak Event Like Steve Irwin Death

A 10 year old was skewered by a flying stingray stinger last week, in a freak accident reminiscent of the Steve Irwin death-by-stingray event. File this one under strange but true: according to the Baltimore Sun, the 10 year old boy, Quentin Tokar, was on vacation with his family while fishing on the Avon pier. They caught [...]

24th August 2010.
By Lenny Rudow

stingray freak event steve irwin

Stingrays like the one that killed Steve Irwin have a dangerous barb on their tail. This one was caught while fishing in the surf.

A 10 year old was skewered by a flying stingray stinger last week, in a freak accident reminiscent of the Steve Irwin death-by-stingray event. File this one under strange but true: according to the Baltimore Sun, the 10 year old boy, Quentin Tokar, was on vacation with his family while fishing on the Avon pier. They caught a stingray, hoisted it onto the pier, and were preparing to release it when an angler walked up and said he wanted to snip off the stingray’s four-inch barb. When he clipped it off, however, it shot through the air and caught Tokar right in the midsection.

The flying stinger hit with enough force to pierce Tokar, entering several inches into his body. Every time he took a breath, the stinger worked its way farther and farther in – until it disappeared from view, leaving behind a nickle-sized hole!

Tokar was airlifted by helicopter to Kitty Hawk, then driven by ambulance to Norfolk, VA, where the stinger was removed. Unfortunately, an infection quickly set in and Tokar had to be admitted to the Hopkins Children’s Center.

Though his return to school has been delayed Tokar is now doing fine, and said that if someone tries pulling the barb off a stingray in the future,  ”I’m running to the other side of the pier.”


About the author:

Lenny Rudow

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Lenny Rudow is Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including Boats.com and Yachtworld.com. With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, he has contributed to publications including Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design who has won 28 BWI and OWAA writing awards.
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