I just returned from a brief 4 day warm up in Playa del Carmen Mexico. That's just south of Cancun.
On day 2 I drove down to Akumal to snorkel. It was a nice bay with some good snorkeling way out from the shore.
While walking along the beach, headed to find a Bohemia and a taco for lunch, I see a girl being pulled onto the shore laying on a life-ring.
I'd say she was around 14, pretty un-responsive and people were in a panic around her. (friends and Family)
Having a closer look, she is face down on the life ring and there is a spike sticking out of the back of her head / brain stem. A needle-fish had hit her in the back of the head like a dart or an arrow.
She looked to be paralyzed, or in sever shock when they carried her from the water. A Medic diver convinced the locals not to pull the needle nose out, as it was barbed and would have caused sever bleeding. The rest of the fish had broken off. It looked like something out of a horror movie.
It seems when the fish are frightened, they jump and fly through the air for short distances. The fish became a dart, and the back of her head the bulls-eye. She was bobbing in the water in exactly the wrong place and moment.
A google search revealed a small history of other such injuries. A surfer was killed when he took one through the eye into the brain. There were a few others as well.
I never found out how the girl faired. I don't suspect things went well at all.
Moral to this horror story... I've snorkeled and been scuba diving all over the world and kiteboarded in the ocean all around the planet. I thought I'd seen it all. There's never a good reason to be out there without a buddy. Just when you think you've seen it all...you find out you haven't really seen anything.
2007- Naish Thorn, Torch 16/12, 2008 10M Alliance. '07 Naish Thorn 144 Cape Doctor. Naish Midwest Team. GoPro Cameras! Red Helmet and Fashionable Football Shirt.