Anyone Re-thinking Swimming With the Stingrays?

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The EMPIRE State
24,689 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
They are going WAY overboard explaining how this Steve Irwin thing was a freak accident, but always having wanted to do this, it makes me wonder and second guess this.

Is anyone altering their stingray visit plans?
2,806 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Well at the moment we don't have any plans to do this. I've always wanted to do it and even had it booked twice to do on port stops to Grand Cayman, but both trips were canceled due to weather. But yes to answer your question after this happening to Steve I find myself second guessing myself if I really want to do this at all. I know that they are supposed to be very shy creatures, but they are all even the ones that you swim with are still wlid ocean creatures and things do happen in the wild. I hope that people don't freak out to much over this though and stop going on these excursions, I'm sure that alot of the tours are done to feed families. I'm not saying that I don't want to do this any longer, but if I do ever get the chance again to do it This will make me be alot more cautious.
184 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Yes, we are still going I booked a private tour for our group of 14 the day before this tragic accident happened. My kids are a very upset. We loved watching his shows on TV and felt he put himself in danger many times but always came out OK. We will go and yes we will be more cautious that's for sure.
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We swam at Stingray City in the Bahamas on our first cruise. We snorked along the top of the water and the stingrays swam along the bottom, I'd say 15-18 feet below. The only stingray that came to the top was brought to the surface by a "trainer". We were then able to hand-feed the ray, Stumpy, with squid. It was thrilling and scary at the same time. It's very intimidating swimming with any large animal, dolphins included. If I had to do it over again, I'd do it in a heart-beat!

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Norfolk Virginia
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I was planning to do this in April, and it has given me cause to pause and rethink. With that said, after watching all the coverage on TV, it appears that this was really a freak accident. I most likely will still do the swim.
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Central Ohio
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Joined May 2003
We did the swim in Grand Cayman a couple of years ago. I wouldn't hesitate to go again.

The rays are very docile. You really have a much better chance of winning a multi-state lottery than to be injured by a stingray. To die from the injury is kind of like winning it 2 weeks in a row.

The latest explaination of Irwin's death is that the barb may have punctured an artery. According to news reports this morning they were filming when the accident happened and he removed the barb from his chest. The conjecture is that had the barb been left in place, thus sealing the wound, he could have survived a flight to land and been saved.

It's really a tragic end for someone who cared so much about wildlife.

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Joined Jan 2006
My family me 41 DW 40 and teen daughters 16 and 17 swam with the Stingrays in April in Grand Cayman. I did a little research, but nothing scientific. I asked the out fitters, and people who had done this before. My understanding is the stingrays in Grand Cayman are extremly humanized. From birth until death they are used to humans and interacting with them. With that said my family went with a little hesitation, but we all got to see feel and touch the rays up close.
With the untimley death of Steve Irwin one can see that A this was extremly rare event, and B it was with a truly wild animal, and C he had a track record of putting himself in danger. The sting rays are generally docile animals and are not aggressive in any way. I think anyone who ever watched his TV show knew that this day was comming. I just thought it was going to be a crock that got him.
Bottom line go on the stingray tour, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Northeastern Massachusetts
356 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
You definately have a better chance of winning the lottery than being killed by a stingray. I heard on the news that there have only been 14 reported deaths in 140 years.
Dallas, TX
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Joined Aug 2003
Im still going next week...woooo hooooo, DW seems a bit more nervous, but i have always wanted to go, Im sure i will thing about it a little and be more cautious.
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The rays at stingray city are wild animals but they choose to come as they please and are used to lots of humans - many of them all their lives and that is the BIG differance...
Lexington, KY
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Joined May 2005
Originally posted by 98Charlie
We did the swim in Grand Cayman a couple of years ago. I wouldn't hesitate to go again.

The rays are very docile. You really have a much better chance of winning a multi-state lottery than to be injured by a stingray. To die from the injury is kind of like winning it 2 weeks in a row.......
We did the stingray swim back in 2000 and then again this past June, and like 98Charlie, we wouldn't hesitate to do it again. As stated, the rays in the Cayman's are very docile and used to human interaction.

I felt much safer around the rays while in Grand Cayman than I did on our drive to/from Columbus this Labor day weekend.

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Done it twiced, loved it, and am doing it again in October.

RIP Steve Irwin
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#1. The stingrays in GC are a different variety with a different type of barb.
#2. His producer who was there and denied that he tried to remove the barb.
#3. The stingrays in GC can inflict damage and do have venom just step on one and find out.
#4. Hopefully no excursions will swim above them anymore.
#5. Once while following a sting ray off shore in shallow water, it turned quickly and started coming toward my daughter. Boy did she swim the other way and fast. It was in Nassau.
#5 Steve's death is a great loss!
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My BIL's brother was involved in a "accident" with a stingray a few years ago. The barb slashed open his leg between the knee and ankle. His leg is severely disfigured. It looks like about 25% of the leg muscle is gone. He has permanent limping. We've done Stingray City twice and really enjoyed it. My kids were both very young at the time. Ater this I don't think I would take my grandkids. It was a freak accident, but maybe this isn't where small children should be.
Rockwall TX
5,121 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
My son and I swam with them back in May, and I was surprised at what gentle creatures they were. I would definitely do it again, it was an experience I will never forget. An unfortunate accident, very strange considering he handled much more dangerouse creatures on a daily basis.
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Originally posted by Bonnie&Rob
You definately have a better chance of winning the lottery than being killed by a stingray. I heard on the news that there have only been 14 reported deaths in 140 years.
that is not exactly true it is 17 recorded stingray deaths in Australia since 1969

you are right about fatal stings being extremely rare. However they are extremely painfull

what happened to the steve irwin has made me think twice about the sting ray tours especially hearing about what happened to Mikel1733 BIL
Albertville Al
299 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
From what I have seen from him on his shows he probablly was trying to ride the thing or something really crazy. The guy always made me very nervous watching him.
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I think the news makes it hard. Just this morning GMA stated that up to yesterday there had only been 3 reported deaths in Australia due to stingrays. Not over 100, so I'm not sure where to find these stats but it would be helpful to post the link to those stats instead of just a number, you never know who to believe anymore when numbers start flying.

I just got back from a cruise last week and we snorkeled at SRC and felt very comfortable in the water with them. I've also done it before without any worries. We had great guides who explained clearly to everyone including the kids what to and NOT to do regarding them and they were very clear about not getting close over them and never to try to ride one. And I'm not saying that's what he tried to do. I think it's a terrible loss and so many are saddened by this but I'm sure he would be the first to say not to stay out of the water because of this, it was a freak accident.
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Chandler, AZ
58 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I am upset over what happened to Steve Irwin.
However, I am not going to cancel my stingray city excursion because of what happened to him. I will be extra cautious though.
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Asheville, NC
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DH asked me the same thing last night, and I told him, I was still doing it, because that was a freak thing that happened and I am doing a once in a life time thing. Yes, I will be nervous about it, but I still have to do it.
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