Boy collapses after being stung by fish

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A boy has collapsed after being stung by a venomous fish after paddling in the sea off north eastern England.

Aaron Maughan, 13, collapsed after being stung by one of the fish while paddling in the sea at Seaton Carew, says the Hartlepool Mail.

The Mail says that lifeguards carried Maughan to their station and an ambulance was called but he had regained consciousness shortly after being treated.

Maughan told the Hartlepool Mail: "I'm a blackbelt in karate and have had a lot of fights, even a broken nose, but this was something else.

"It felt like I had stood on a nail or glass. I looked down and there were three spikes sticking out of my foot.

"I started to walk back to my gran up the beach, blood was dripping out, then I just collapsed."

WeeversAnglers have noticed a sharp increase in the number of venomous weever fish being caught along the shores of the north east of England.

Local newspapers in the Sunderland and Hartlepool areas have both reported higher numbers of the venomous fish being caught from piers and boats, and at least one person has been injured by the fish.

Hartlepool Council's beach safety officer has advised people to wear suitable footwear when on the beach and when paddling in the sea.

Weever fish are members of the family Trachinidae. The Lesser weever, Echiichthys vipera, is both the most widely seen and the most dangerous species.

Lesser weevers reach a size of up to 15cm/6" and are a mottled beige colour with a black dorsal fin.

They live on sandy or gravelly shores in shallow water and often bury themselves with only their eyes and their poison-laden dorsal fin sticking out.

Venom glands exist below the dorsal fin spines and on the gill cover.

The fish get their common name of "weever" from the French word "wivre", which means serpent or dragon.