Man stung by stingray at Sentosa beach, spends 3 nights in the hospital

Benjamin Koellmann said that he stepped on a stingray when he was in the waters at Tanjong Beach on March 28, 2021.
Facebook/Benjamin Koellmann

SINGAPORE - A man who said he was stung by a stingray during a family outing at Tanjong Beach in Sentosa has warned the public to watch out for marine life there.

Facebook user Benjamin Koellmann, who said he spent three days recovering from the ordeal at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), shared his account through a post on the Facebook group Nature Society (Singapore) on Saturday (April 3).

In his post, he said that he stepped on the stingray when he and his family were in the waters at Tanjong Beach on March 28.

"What followed was three nights in the hospital and some of the most intense nerve pain I've felt in my life, not just locally at the site of the sting but also shooting up my leg and down into my foot - and that's despite constant and generous doses of heavy painkillers," he said.

Mr Koellmann said that lifeguards at the beach were quick to respond after he was stung and he was taken to SGH by ambulance.

He added that both the lifeguards as well as the doctor at the hospital mentioned that they had come across another case with the same injury that day which had occurred at Siloso Beach, also in Sentosa.

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Describing the sting, Mr Koellmann said: "It felt like a hammer hitting my ankle."

He advised others to be vigilant when entering the waters in Sentosa, suggesting measures such as shuffling their feet in the sand instead of taking proper steps.

"The pain eventually got better and I was discharged on day four. Today the pain is pretty much gone, and I can only see a small scar from the sting. I'm just grateful that it got me and not my son who was about five feet away from me in the water!" he said.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, a spokesperson for Sentosa Development Corporation said its beach patrol officers (BPO) attended to two cases of stingray attacks on March 28 and rendered first aid assistance in both cases. She added that Sentosa’s BPOs conduct regular surveillance of the island’s beaches and waters.

"As a variety of marine life such as stingrays are common in Singapore’s waters, guests are urged to be vigilant and take precautions when swimming at the beaches," she said. "Signages are also displayed along Sentosa’s beaches to remind guests to be mindful of marine life."

The spokesperson also advised guests not to touch stingrays or other marine life if they see any and to alert other beach-goers and on-ground BPOs.