A DAY of fun at the seaside proved almost fatal for one man after he was stung by a venomous fish.

Last Friday Lee Baines, 52, had spent a day on the Furness coastline near Roosebeck enjoying the sun and surf with friends.

Just two days later Mr Baines was in Furness General Hospital, awaiting an operation after being stung by a potentially deadly weever fish.

He said: "When the day was over the tide was going out and we were bringing the boats back in.

"I had been in the sea all day long with a wet suit on, wearing Crocs on my feet.

"On the ramp I was bitten on my right foot, it got me on the heel.

"The first day it was alright I never thought anything about it. But on the second day my foot was swollen up.

"The pain wasn't that bad but when I got home my girlfriend said the bite had come to a head, like a spot.

"She put a needle in and a spike came out about a quarter or half an inch long. Once that came out my foot and leg just swelled up. The pain was excruciating. I had fever, I was sweating like hell but I was freezing, I had no sleep, but I thought it might go."

But, his situation did not improve and on Monday he checked himself into Furness General Hospital.

Blood tests were taken and quite soon hospital staff realised how serious his condition was.

He was put on very strong antibiotics to fight off the blood poisoning he had contracted.

Yesterday, Mr Baines, of of Meadowlands Caravan Park, Roosebeck underwent an operation to open up his heel, remove any foreign bodies and completely wash out the affected area.

He said: "They've opened it up and flushed it out and investigated it and cleaned it up the best they can.

"It's very bad, I'm not a softy, I've had lots of cuts and bruises but this has knocked the stuffing out of me."

A wildlife expert from the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said he had never come across a person being stung in the county by a weever.

David Harpley, said: "A weever is a relatively small inconspicuous brown fish that lives in the sea bed.

"I've never heard of anyone being stung by one before."

Mr Baines said people should take care when at the seaside, in particular small children when playing in rock pools or near the tide.

He is recovering well, but remains in hospital under observation.