Here Brendon Burns, 47, Perth, WA tells the story in his own words.
Looking forward to a swim, I dived into the sea. I was visiting my mum Vicki and the weather was perfect.
Suddenly I felt a searing pain in my left hand.
‘Argh!’ I cried, staggering out of the water.
I thought I’d been cut by a broken beer bottle but looking at my swollen hand, I realised it was a sting.
I collapsed onto the sand with the pain.
‘I’ve been stung!’ I yelled, and the whole beach stopped to look.
‘Probably a stingray,’ someone said.
The lifeguard thought it was that too.
‘Either that or a cobbler,’ he said. ‘Just run water over it.’
I’d had testicular cancer and a broken collar bone and it was worse than both those. On a pain scale, it was a 10.
‘You’ve got get me to hospital,’ I groaned.
‘I can’t leave the beach, mate,’ the lifeguard said.
Luckily a woman named Helen offered to drive me to Mum’s, where I hurtled into the bathroom for a cold shower.
It didn’t help. Soon I was in a foetal position screaming in agony.
Mum sped me to hospital in just my towel.
I was blue, shaking, and heaving with nausea.
‘Do your yoga breathing!’ she instructed.
Emergency was packed.
‘I’ve been poisoned,’ I gasped.
I could see everyone thinking - Oh great, this guy’s going to jump the queue!
I found myself on a hospital bed being given a local anaesthetic before having the poison blasted out of my hand by a jet.
Instantly I felt a lot calmer.
‘I don’t think it was a cobbler,’ I said.
‘No,’ the doctor agreed. ‘It was a Stonefish.’
‘But it hurt so much,’ I said.
He looked at me as if to say, - You’re going to freak when you google this later.
Four hours later, Mum drove me home.
Being a comedian, I was determined to get mileage out of my night.
‘I’m going to do a routine about this,’ I said.
‘No,’ Mum replied. ‘It’s not funny...yet.’
Googling, I learnt stonefish are the most venomous fish in the world.
And cold water makes the pain even worse. It should be hot.
I escaped death that day.
And if I ever find Helen, she’ll have free tickets to my stand-up shows for the rest of her life.