Torpedo Ray Shocks Scuba Diver

Man stung by elusive ray on lobster dive

Aug 18, 2011
Outside Magazine

A scuba diver in Massachusetts was shocked by an elusive torpedo ray this weekend while lobster diving off the coast of Rockport. Mike Murray, a diver with two decades experience, saw the ray on the ocean's floor, 40 feet underwater. Diving alone—which Murray admits was his first mistake—he initially avoided the ray, a species that is easygoing but can deliver shocks of 220-volts, which hurts but will not kill a human. Murray spotted a lobster and swam above the ray before feeling a pain in his left leg that he first assumed was a shark bite. Realizing what had happened, Murray returned to shore with no problems. Experts at the New England Aquarium say Murray was lucky not only to see a torpedo ray but to escape the encounter otherwise unscathed. "They’re not aggressive, but they won’t back away from divers either,” said Assistant Curator Dan Laughlin. Unlike other rays, torpedo rays do not have barbed tails. “It was my mistake,” Murray said. “It’s his ocean. I was a guest in his ocean, and on that day I was a very poor guest.” Worse yet, the lobster Murray was after was wasn't big enough to keep, and he threw it back.

Read more at CBS Boston

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