News

Palms dad survives stingray barb in Tinnanbar

Jason Austin of The Palms being attended by his wife Anne after being speared in the inside of his left foot by a stingray whilst fishing at Tinnanbar, Great Sandy Strait over the Easter holiday. PHOTO: GREG MILLER
Jason Austin of The Palms being attended by his wife Anne after being speared in the inside of his left foot by a stingray whilst fishing at Tinnanbar, Great Sandy Strait over the Easter holiday. PHOTO: GREG MILLER Greg Miller

A BOLT of lightning was how The Palms man Jason Austin described the moment a stingray barbed him in the foot on Monday.

Mr Austin was with wife Ann and children Hunter, 12, and Lacy, 9, visiting Tinnanbar when the Easter long weekend nightmare unfolded.

The family has long enjoyed the Tinnanbar paradise (between Tin Can Bay and Poona) and Mr Austin wasted little time before wetting a line just before noon.

As he waded into the high tide waters, dodging sharp mangrove pencil roots with fishing rod in hand, he stood squarely on a plate-sized stingray hidden by sand.

"Normally I shuffle my feet into the water to be safe but I was dodging the roots," Mr Austin said.

"I just saw the tail (of the stingray) go back and strike near my ankle, two inches above my heel.

"There was this instant sharp burning pain - just agony."

An avid dirt bike rider, the fisherman said he had broken many bones before but nothing compared to the pain he felt.

"I knew we just had to go at that point," Mr Austin said.

Mrs Austin, meanwhile, was 100m up the beach but became aware of her husband's agony when she heard both her children screaming.

"The kids sung out and I thought they were joking at first," Mrs Austin said.

"Then I saw Jason hobbling out of the water and I knew it was something serious."

Jason Austin of The Palms being attended by his wife Anne after being speared in the inside of his left foot by a stingray whilst fishing at Tinnanbar, Great Sandy Straight over the easter holiday. Photo Greg Miller / Gympie Times
Jason Austin of The Palms being attended by his wife Anne after being speared in the inside of his left foot by a stingray whilst fishing at Tinnanbar, Great Sandy Straight over the easter holiday. Photo Greg Miller / Gympie Times Greg Miller

Mr Austin limped into the passenger seat of the family 4WD and a frantic Mrs Austin drove the family to help on the remote dirt access road.

The secluded location meant mobile reception was unreliable for the couple's son, Hunter, who tried numerous times to maintain a line with emergency services.

"It was commonsense for us to meet the ambulance halfway at Goomboorian but we had trouble getting the information through because the line was so bad," Mrs Austin said.

The two children, fraught with worry, were "freaked out" on the back seat.

"Jason passed out a couple of times in the passenger seat and that scared us all," Mrs Austin said.

"I was trying to drive and keep the kids calm."

Mrs Austin got her husband to Goomboorian where the family met up with waiting paramedics.

He was given four doses of morphine to take the edge of the excruciating pain and was taken to hospital.

There, he was treated by doctors and his foot placed in hot water - the same treatment recommended for being punctured by a stonefish.

Mr Austin was later discharged and told to remain wary of infection.

It was a haunting encounter for the family who had never worried about stingrays before.

"To be honest, after this, I am a little bit frightened about going back in the water," Mr Austin said yesterday, suffering only lingering toe cramps from the ordeal.

The keen angler, however, is not about to give up on his favourite hobby.

"I love it too much," he said.

"My advice for anyone is remember hot water is the best treatment.

"My ordeal would have been so much different had we known."

Gympie Times

Topics:  near death experience, stingray




Muster mansions and 'muster-pieces'

20 YEARS AND LOVING IT: The crew at The Boozy Chuck Wagon Bar at Poulsen's Flat.

Campers get creative in quest for the best times

Debate rages over $65 levy to help resurrect Rattler

Gympie Regional Council's decision to impose an Economic Development Levy to help get the Rattler back on track has come under fire from letter writers to The Gympie Times.

Debate rages in our letters to the editor over the Rattler levy

Friday Muster Fun, 2016

Gympie Music Muster 2016 Bazil Walters.

FRIDAY at the 2016 Gympie Music Muster was filled with total fun.

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa