A teenager has died in Spain after being stung by a poisonous fish while snorkelling off a popular tourist beach.
The tragic teenager was visiting the resort of Platja d’Aro on the Costa Brava in Spain when the incident happened.
Shocked sunbathers helped to pull the 16-year-old boy from the water after his distraught parents reported not seeing him for half an hour.
At first, it was thought he had drowned but medics then noticed a small wound of between two and three millimetres near his windpipe and some marks on his face.
The youngster, named as Arnau B, came from the village of Montagut i Oix in Girona.
An autopsy has taken place and his parents say it showed he suffered an anaphylactic “shock” after being bitten or speared by a Trachinus araneus, also known as a spotted weever.
The fish, which can be as long as 45cms, has three highly poisonous spines on its back and inhabits shallow waters near rocks.
Police say they are still investigating and will be looking at an underwater camera the teenager was using to film the seabead.
They hope this will provide further clues to his death.
The boy had gone snorkelling in the afternoon but after half an hour, his family became concerned and alerted the lifeguards.
Other bathers spotted his body after another 15 minutes.
He was brought out of the water to the sand where prolonged efforts were made to save him but without success.
The fish typically causes a burning sensation and severe pain that is relieved by hot water but it can also cause dizziness, nausea, loss of consciousness and even death from anaphylactic “shock.”
In a statement, the boy’s parents said he was snorkelling “when he found a jellyfish 100 metres from the beach that led him to a strange and very colourful fish with a harmless face.
“He managed to film it for 30 seconds from a distance but in the last second, it disappeared and pinched him on the jaw, leading to ‘instant’ death.”
Montagut i Oix council expressed dismay at the boy’s death.
He was described as “a young man passionate about photography, nature and animals” who had collaborated with the nature magazine El Brull and with the city council on many occasions.
“We have no words. Our thoughts are with the family. All our support in these sad times,” said a spokesman.