from Electronic Telegraph

Mystery bite kills snorkeller By Daniel Waddell

Saturday, September 5, 1998

Mystery bite kills snorkeller By Daniel Waddell

A MAN died yesterday after apparently being bitten by a fish or sea snake while snorkelling off Majorca.

Jonathan Wickings, 18, from Portsmouth, England, was bitten while swimming during a catamaran trip which set off from Palma. He was pulled back on to the boat after his girlfriend, with whom he was on holiday, raised the alarm. He began foaming at the mouth and was taken by speedboat to a nearby jetty at Cala Blava.

Staff from a German-run medical centre attempted to revive him with heart massage. Phil Allan, from Aberdeen, who was also on the trip, said: "It was very distressing. His girlfriend was on the jetty with him, and when the doctors stopped the massage, she let out a howling wail. It was awful."

Mr Allan said one eyewitness told him that a snake was responsible, but a description given by crew members to a marine expert in Palma pointed to a spider fish. Their bite is normally not fatal, but there could have been an allergic reaction. A Foreign Office spokesman said that they were waiting for the results of a post-mortem examination.

BACK to Animal Attack Files