Click on this icon Exit... (right upper corner) to close this window.

  Are the waters of the Gulf dangerous?


No, but a small fish can hurt you and the pain can last for a couple of hours. A doctor can give you a relieve. The fish is a stingray. Stingrays are a foot long flat fish that have stinging spines on their tails. They are generally harmless, but if you accidentally step on one it is going to hurt. It's best to shuffle your feet along when you're walking in the surf. The noise will usually scare them away.

Shark bites off Southwest Florida are particularly rare. Most bites occur on Florida's east coast. In fact since 1882, Collier County has reported only five shark bites, according to the International Shark Attack File. The last suspected shark bite in Collier County occurred when a fisherman hauling in a catch was bitten in the Ten Thousand Islands in 2002. Before that, a child was bitten while swimming at Wiggins Pass in 1996. But despite the feeling that the "jaws of death" are out there waiting, statistics show the odds of being bitten by a shark are 1 in 11.5 million, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

Status: August 2005