A SPANISH holidaymaker has suffered a partially-severed tendon in her leg after she was bitten by a mystery fish in Costa Blanca waters.
The attack happened last week on El Robello beach, near Alicante, before the woman was taken to Elche hospital by ambulance for treatment.
The 40-year-old from Valladolid, named only as M. V. F, needed a plaster cast and reportedly spent the last day of her holiday on crutches.
The victim’s husband described how her screams ‘scared us all’ as their son, 5, fled from the sea.
Rescuers first thought the woman had stepped on sharp rocks – but Elche Hospital surgeons confirmed the wound was compatible with a bite.
The father told Diario Informacion: “The skin on her foot had been torn and she was bleeding heavily. She said she felt like she’d been trapped in a snare.
“If it had been my five-old-year son, or another child instead of my wife, they would have lost part of their foot.”
The attack happened close to the same beach that was closed in July when two children were hospitalised in similar circumstances.
Two pair, aged seven and ten, were injured within half an hour of each other on El Pinet beach, two miles away from El Robello.
Local beaches were closed before a bluefish ‘with big teeth’ was caught by authorities that same evening – dispelling local rumours of a shark returning to the waters.
Adult bluefish are known to be aggressive biters and can grow to be as big as 40lbs (18kg).
They are fast swimmers and prey on schools of smaller fish, like sardines or anchovies, attacking in what is described as a ‘feeding frenzy’. They chase bait in shallow waters, churning the surf in behaviour known as the ‘bluefish blitz’.
As well as recorded attacks in the Mediterranean, fishermen and lifeguards in New Jersey (USA) have been injured by this fish.