EXCRUCIATING: Tony Madigan is warning people about  swimming  off Fergusons Rd after he stepped on a  stonefish.
EXCRUCIATING: Tony Madigan is warning people about swimming off Fergusons Rd after he stepped on a stonefish. Hannah Sbeghen

Man survives deadly stonefish sting

TANNUM Sands man Anthony Madigan is lucky to be alive.

The 50-year-old's blood pressure hit a terrifying 198 over 116 on Sunday after stepping on a deadly freshwater stonefish at a popular swimming spot in Gladstone.

Mr Madigan was transported to hospital after the incident at a rockpool near the Calliope River on the end of Fergusons Rd.

According to the Queensland Museum the fish, also called bullrout fish, are armed with 15 sharp strong dorsal spines that readily penetrate the feet or hands of unwary swimmers.

Mr Madigan said he is lucky to have lived to tell the tale and has notified council and asked for signs to be put up.

"I was out with friends and their children, I can't imagine what the outcome would've been if it was one of the kids," Mr Madigan said.

"It felt like a steel rod piercing my foot and the next thing my foot is pouring out blood.

Susan Brookes found this stonefish in one of her crab pots in the Noosa River.
Susan Brookes found this stonefish in one of her crab pots in the Noosa River. Amber Macpherson

"I've crashed motorbikes and chopped fingers off but nothing was as painful as that.

"It was two and a half hours of excruciating pain. I was pretty wild."

Mr Madigan said there wasn't much of a cure for him when he arrived at hospital besides a hot bucket of water.

"By the time I got to hospital I could feel the pain going up to my groin but all I could really do was take morphine and stick my foot in hot water," he said.

His skin was already starting to fall off his foot.



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