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Billionaire adventurer Richard Branson has told about how he was savaged by a stingray then cut his head open walking into a glass door.
The Virgin tycoon said he was swimming with dozens of stingrays off the coast of Grand Cayman when he was bitten on the arm.
He later posted a picture of his injuries on Twitter, saying:
“Been in the wars in the Cayman Islands — bitten by a shark.”
The entrepreneur defended his shark claim in his blog by stating rays are part of the shark family.
From kitesurfing across the English Channel to traversing the Atlantic Ocean by hot air balloon, Branson’s taste for adventure is as insatiable as his business drive. But even he wasn’t expected to be felled twice on the same trip.
The Virgin Group founder, 65, wrote in his blog:
“I’ve been in the wars this week over in the Cayman Islands. I was very excited to make the trip to Grand Cayman for a special swim with dozens of beautiful rays. But it didn’t quite go to plan…”
“We joined renowned ocean conservationist Guy Harvey to see the rays up close at Stingray City Sandbar. We were surrounded by stingray, as well as stunning coral reefs and tropical fish.”
“But the rays were feeding all around, and they mistook yours truly for their food. Suddenly I felt a painful sensation on my wrist – they have one heck of a painful kiss! Rays are actually part of the shark family, so I’ve now been kissed by a shark.”
“We made it back to shore and I put on a brave face as I got some treatment. I’m still proudly campaigning to protect rays, even if I did get bitten! Apparently it gives seven years good luck,” he told Virgin.com.
“The good luck didn’t start right away though. As my anniversary was coming up, I popped into a local jewellery shop to look for a gift for Joan. I strolled purposefully into the shop, not noticing there was a glass door in my way. Crash!” he blogged.
“I hit the glass head first and I got this painful cut above my left eye. It was bullet-proof glass! We quickly set up a makeshift operating theatre, where I was given three stitches.”
“By now I was feeling rather woozy, and quite embarrassed, but I was still smiling. Later, there was time for me to take part in a tennis tournament, Legends at Camana Bay.I was fortunate enough to join in the mixed doubles, with Anna Kournikova, Mansour Bahrami and Ashley Harkleroad. Tough job, but somebody had to do it!”
Branson is no stranger to often grave misadventures. He famously capsized and had to be rescued while attempting the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing in 1985, while his three attempts at circling the globe in a hot-air balloon failed.