Coast Guard saves man stung by 300-pound stingray

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 10:00 PM CDT
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CAPE COD, Mass. (WJAR) - A Rhode Island man is home from the hospital and recovering after being stung by a 300-pound stingray.

Video taken by the United States Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod shows the dramatic moments leading up to James McKenna’s rescue after a massive stingray barb went into his leg.

“We got the information. A 300-pound stingray stung this guy in the leg and he needs critical care,” said Lt. Junior Andrew Doyle.

Coast Guard Medevac and nine rescue swimmers worked to get to McKenna.

“This was kind of an uncommon situation that we don’t normally get a lot of times. A lot of times we get a fishermen that are in distress either they’ve been injured by some of piece of fishing gear. They’ve suffered some kind of medical condition. Things like that,” Doyle said.

The Coast Guard says that prior to their arrival, the captain and crew on the boat worked to save McKenna’s life.

“They had removed it prior to us getting there, but it had left a significant portion still embedded into his leg,” Doyle said. “We took it with us to the hospital so the physicians, the doctors, the nurses could assess how bad the damage had been and what they needed to do with it.”

Doyle had been flying the helicopter to a Rhode Island hospital for the highest level of care.

“He was screaming and he was in a lot of pain up until the time that we had him in the aircraft, so he was very grateful when we offloaded him at Rhode Island hospital,” he said.

McKenna says he is grateful to be alive and owes all involved a debt of gratitude.

“We’re always happy to be able to provide this kind of care. It’s a real honor and humbling experience,” Doyle said.

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