I'm considering a snorkel with the sting rays at Half Moon Cay. My question is do the ray's still have their stinger in their tail, or is it filed down for safety? I know the rays are friendly and like people, and that these excursions are done by many but I do wonder if an accident could occur and if anyone has ever gotten stung?
Carnival Mardi Gras 1987 (Bahamas)
Carnival Legend 2005 (Exotic Western Caribbean)
Costa Mediterrenia 2005 (Eastern Caribbean)
Carnival Pride October 2006 (Mexican Rivera)
Carnival Legend 2007 (Western Caribbean)
Carnival Glory 2009 Western Caribbean
Carnival Liberty 2011 Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Spirit 2011 Western Caribbean Carnival Miracle 2012 Southern Caribbean
I've only snorkeled with the Rays in Grand Cayman, and yes, they still had their stingers on, don't think they were filed down or anything. They were all so tame, mainly because they know they will get food. So far, I've never heard of anyone getting stung...I too was worried about the same thing, but it didn't seem to be a problem.
On HMC they are actually kept in a pen. They seem to be used to human contact. We walked down there to check it out when we were there. We have swam with them in the wild in Belize a few times with no issues.
The stingrays at Grand Cayman ARE wild, are NOT kept in a cage, and DO have their stingers intact. They have also been habituated to human contact for generations now (stingray genrations that is), and are as close to tame as you could expect any wild animal to be.
I have no experience with Half Moon Cay.
My wife, DS, and DIL went on the Grand Cayman Stingray City excursion (NativeWay) and despite my wife and DIL's apprehension had a great experience including having a stingray draped on my wife's back and all of us kissing a ray for good luck. Just listen carefully to your guide and do as you are instructed and you will be OK.
However, while snorkeling at the beach, my son decided he would try to touch a small stingray (about the size of a dinner plate) and was stung in the hand with intensely painful results. Moral to the story is while I would recommend the Stingray City experience to anyone without reservation - remember that when you are not in the safe area with habituated rays, keepa you hands off! Half Moon Cay is probably the same way.
I would assume that Half Moon Cay stingrays are reasonably "safe" or they would not risk the liability.
BTW FYI: The treatment for a stingray sting is to immerse the affected part in hot water around 113 degrees F or as hot as you can tolerate. My son reported almost instant relief. Just be careful not to scald or burn yourself.
Last edited by ouachita; October 11th, 2010 at 01:56 PM.