The death of a man, probably from an injury inflicted by a stingray, has shocked the people in and around Hobart. The 42-year-old man was swimming near the Lauderdale Beach when he suffered a Cardiac Arrest presumably from a stingray. It happened some distance from Hobart and the spot is a not just a low tide shallow area but is popular amongst swimmers.

ABC Au reports that police arrived at the scene and believed that the death occurred due to a "puncture wound … possibly inflicted by a marine animal". Hobart beach has a large population of stingrays and the Australian Museum clarifies that the smooth stingray species is not aggressive.

Questions arise on closure of the beach

Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman indicated that it is for the council to decide on whether the tragedy requires closure of the beach. He went on to add that it is necessary to establish if this was a one-off incident involving a stingray. It is also important to ascertain if there is a real threat to swimmers and others who frequent the area. The Tasmania Police have begun investigations and the beach will remain open.

The Australian Museum has explained that the spine of the stingray can inflict “severe or potentially fatal wounds.” A local has said that there are large stingrays in the shallows at Lauderdale Beach.

Another has mentioned about skates while a third person expressed surprise about finding these in the cooler waters of Tasmania.

The incident is a worry for the people

According to Sky News, a stingray attacked the victim while he was swimming close to Lauderdale Beach and his friends pulled him out from the water. They were nearby.

He had suffered a cardiac arrest and they tried to resuscitate him but their efforts failed. The police have described it as a traumatic incident. It resulted in a puncture wound to his lower abdomen and resembled an injury from a stingray. However, a more detailed investigation will be required to arrive at a conclusion.

Stingrays usually inhabit tropical waters.

In appearance, they are a flattish, diamond-shaped fish and seldom attack humans. They possess barbs at the end of their tails and these pose dangers. These have a coating of a toxic venom and they use it for defense. People suffer injuries when they accidentally step on them in shallow waters and the fish react instinctively with their thorns. Incidentally, an Australian conservationist and "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin fell victim to a stingray barb when it punctured his chest. It was in 2006 when he was engaged in filming the Great Barrier Reef.