Man stung by stingray at Tanjong Beach urges public to be careful

"I was in its home and stepped on it, so that’s on me," he said to emphasise that he's not blaming the stingray.

Zhangxin Zheng | April 04, 2021, 10:06 AM

Editor's note on Apr. 5: We have updated the article with Sentosa's response to the two incidents in relation to marine stings.


Many Singapore residents will probably head to the beach to relax over the weekends, but look out for marine creatures.

A visitor to Sentosa shared his encounter with a stingray at Tanjong Beach, and cautioned beach goers to be careful.

Stung by stingray at Sentosa beach

The man wrote on the Nature Society (Singapore) Facebook group on Apr. 3 that he accidentally stepped on a stingray when he was about to leave the water last Sunday.

That's when he was stung.

He later revealed in the comment section that the incident happened at around 60-80cm depth of water, and about 2m away from the shore.

He also shared a gnarly photo of the injury.

Photo by Benjamin Koellmann, via Nature Society (Singapore)/Facebook.

Very painful

Fortunately, the life guards responded quickly and he was sent to the Singapore General Hospital.

However, he described the pain he suffered later was "some of the most intense nerve pain" he has felt in his life, even after taking some painkillers.

Photo by Benjamin Koellmann, via Nature Society (Singapore)/Facebook.

He felt better on the fourth day and was discharged from the hospital.

In his post, he mentioned that there was another person who was stung on the same afternoon as well. But that incident happened at Siloso Beach.

A comment made in response to the post also said that beach users were alerted to a small stingray on Apr. 3 afternoon.

Not blaming the stingray

The man also emphasised that he did not write the post to demonise stingrays.

He said:

"Also, just to clarify, I’m not in any way mad at the stingray (nor do I seek revenge, as some have suggested 😅). I was in its home and stepped on it, so that’s on me. I’m sure it was properly scared and hence the defensive reaction was perfectly normal. Nature sure knows how to fight back!"

Other marine creatures to watch out for

Many marine creatures live in the waters around Sentosa island, and some might appear in shallow waters.

A couple of them are venomous, such as the stonefish and box jellyfish.

The stonefish has 13 venomous spines along its back and they camouflage well among rocks in shallow waters, so it is advised not to pick up anything that resembles a stone when you are at the beach.

Box jellyfish, being almost transparent, can be hard to spot too if beach users are not mindful.

They have long tentacles that release venom when they brush past one's skin.

Should you require assistance at Sentosa beaches, you can approach on-ground Beach Patrol Officers or call 1800 RANGERS (1800 726 4377).

Read up more on the advisory by Sentosa here.

Sentosa: Visitors' safety of utmost importance

In response to Mothership on Apr. 5 morning, Sentosa Development Corporation (Sentosa) confirmed that the Beach Patrol Officers had responded to two visitors' requests for first aid assistance on Mar. 28, 2021.

Both requests were made in relation to marine stings.

Sentosa added that the Beach Patrol Officers conduct regular surveillance of the island's beach and waters as the safety and well-being is of "utmost importance" to them.

They also urged visitors to be vigilant and take precautions when swimming at the beach as well as looking out for signages displayed along the beaches that alert visitors of marine life.

Top photo via Tanjong Beach Club/Facebook and Nature Society (Singapore)/Facebook