A blood sucking mystery

Adele Shrimpton with her boat on the Tweed River. Photo:John Gass / Tweed Daily News
Adele Shrimpton with her boat on the Tweed River. Photo:John Gass / Tweed Daily News John Gass

EXPERTS have been unable to identify a swarm of blood-sucking sea creatures that attacked a woman as she launched her tender boat off the Tweed River last week.

The attack caused profuse bleeding on Adele Shrimpton's ankles, and later, strange scab wounds.

Ms Shrimpton, an experienced boatie, was standing in several centimetres of river water, about to make her way to her house boat, when the carnivorous micro-fish latched onto to her legs.

"It was dark in the water and I couldn't see anything. My feet were buried in the sand with the water around my ankles.

"As I went to push off the boat from the edge of the water, I could feel I was being bitten … it was like stinging.

"I thought it was just sea lice, and wasn't worried about it until I got back to my boat.

"I checked my legs and went 'holy crap' - there was all this blood!"

A shocked Ms Shrimpton wiped the blood off her legs and the bite wounds coagulated, leaving behind spotty scabs.

The next day she couldn't get through to the authorities about the bites, and so contacted the Tweed Daily News for help in identifying what had caused them.

"I've spoken to a few people that are on the water and they've never seen anything like it," Ms Shrimpton said

Point Danger Marine Rescue's most senior radio operator couldn't identify the wounds, and neither could a Sea World researcher or NSW Health authorities.

A baffled Ms Shrimpton said she's concerned about possible future attacks in the Tweed River.

"It's probably just some blood-sucking creature that's in the water, but people should know that it's there.

"My biggest concern is that people take kids to swim there … imagine what will happen to a fully submerged little baby? If someone could shed some light on it, that'd be good."

Topics:  boating mystery tweed river

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