Flesh-eating bugs attack teen paddling in ocean
Marine biologists are struggling to identify the creatures that are said to have eaten through the skin of a boy who had been paddling at a beach in Australia.
Sam Kanizay, 16, spent 30 minutes in the water at Brighton Beach in Melbourne to soothe his legs after a football game. When he walked out, his legs were covered in tiny flesh-eating creatures.
"I walked out of the water and saw what I thought was sand covering my calf and shook it off. By the time I'd walked across the sand, I looked down and noticed I had blood all over my ankles," he told 3AW Radio.
"It took a while to get all the blood off and it came back pretty quickly.It looked like hundreds of little pinholes or pin-size bites distributed all over my ankle and the top of my foot."
Jarrod Kanizay, Sam's father, said his son was calm and not in pain but he took him to a hospital where it became clear the blood "wasn't washing away. They ate through Sam's skin and made him bleed profusely."
Kanizay returned to the beach on Sunday night with a net filled with raw meat and captured tiny bugs that he believes were responsible. He released a video of the creatures devouring the meat.
"What is really clear is these things really love meat," he said.
Hospital officials initially told Sam they thought the creatures were sea lice but had 10 different hypotheses. Richard Reina, a marine biologist at Monash University, said they were probably sea lice, adding that such attacks were "very rare" and beachgoers should not be alarmed.
- The Daily Telegraph