Disturbing Deja Vu

I saw this report from National Geographic and didn’t believe it at first. It’s just way too weird. Basically the story is that a man was stung in the heart when a ray jumped into his boat. I seriously thought this was some sick parody of Steve Irwin’s death. So, I’m wondering if this happens all the time and we’re just hearing about it because of the media attention from Irwin’s death? Sorry to fan the flames of paranoia, but you gotta wonder. Here’s a few more details from the NatGeo story:

James Bertakis, 81, was boating with his granddaughters near the town of Lighthouse Point, 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Fort Lauderdale, when a three-foot-wide (one-meter-wide) spotted eagle ray bounded out of the water and fell into the boat.

As Bertakis struggled to get the ray out of the vessel, the animal lashed its ten-foot (three-meter) tail, piercing the man’s heart with its venomous barb.

The barb remained lodged in the man’s chest, while the women brought the boat ashore and called for help.

Surgeons performed two operations on Bertakis yesterday and today, ultimately removing the 1-foot (0.3-meter) barb by pulling it through his heart. Bertakis was listed in critical condition late Thursday.