Statistician stung by scorpion fish

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A man who works for the Office for National Statistics nearly died after being stung by a scorpion fish.

Rod Lawson, 51, from Workington in Cumbria was on a windsurfing holiday on the Greek island of Rhodes when he was stung by the potentially deadly fish.

According to a report from the News and Star, a rare allergic reaction to the venom meant that Lawson was just minutes away from death.

The scorpion fish (a member of the family Scorpaenidae) was caught by one of Mr Lawson's fellow windsurfers and he picked it up unaware that it was a potentially dangerous species."Apparently it was touch and go for a while..."Mr Lawson told the News and Star: "I was speared in the finger and it bled quite a lot. As I was having a second go at releasing the fish, it spiked me again.

"It was really painful and the pain just got worse and worse, so I decided to get ashore as quickly as possible and get treatment."

By the time Mr Lawson reached the nearest hospital his hand and arm had swollen. He told the paper: "It was like an elephant's trunk - four times its original size from the fingers right up to the armpit. It looked absolutely terrifying.

"It was very, very scary because the pain was intense and within just a short space of time I was drifting in and out of consciousness."

At the hospital Mr Lawson was given an injection of antidote and has now recovered from the ordeal.

"Apparently it was touch and go for quite some time.

"When I eventually began to come round, the doctor told me I may have been just three minutes from death because I had turned blue and was not breathing.

"It was a very scary incident and I hope I don't come across another scorpion fish for some time."

What to do if you get stungA number of species from the Scorpaenidae family are kept by marine fishkeepers, including both lionfishes and sometimes stonefish.

These species should always be treated with great respect and only netted when absolutely necessary.

If you are stung, submerge the wound under very hot water for as long as you can, then seek medical assistance.

If you have an opinion on whether fishkeepers should be allowed to keep potentially dangerous fishes, such as scorpaenids, check out this month's People's Poll.