Reece Dodds voted for CAPE HAWKE SLSC

A few weeks after I first got my Bronze Medallion when I was 16 - back in 1999 - I was stung by a stingray and had to go to hospital in nothing but my budgie smugglers.

I was at Crowdy Head for some training after school when I stepped on something slimy. The pain in my foot felt like a vice clamping down and zapping me with electricity at the same time. I was bleeding profusely. By the time I got to shore I could barely even stand and I started to panic. Another clubbie came running over helped me get to his car and took me to the nearest Doctor where Dad would meet us. The Doctor's was closed, so Dad picked me up and drove 40 mins to the Base hospital in Taree. All my gear was still at the beach and I was in my speedos with nothing else. I've never been so thankful for a hospital gown.

It was also my first realisation of how we share our beaches with all marine life. We are encroaching on their homes by stepping and swimming where we do.

My pic is of my current local - One Mile Beach Forster.

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