Warning: Graphic photo
A young Italian tourist has been wounded by a stingray while bodysurfing at a popular Mount Maunganui beach.
A witness reports the 23-year-old man stood on the stingray and received a deep laceration to the ankle on the beach near Sutherland Ave around midday today.
Local surfer Colin McGongle said he was the first to reach the man after seeing him yelling and waving.
He pulled the tourist out of the water and on to the beach.
The man initially thought he'd been bitten by something, but McGongle, a surfer for over 50 years, said it was definitely from a stingray barb.
"It really was a big and very deep laceration."
Beachgoers helped the injured tourist by putting up a beach umbrella and calming him down, as he was in shock.
McGongle said toxins from the barb can get into the bloodstream and need to be treated quite quickly.
Lifeguards rushed to the scene to medically assist until an ambulance arrived.
The man was transported to Tauranga Hospital with a minor injury.
McGongle said there are many stingrays around the area, and orcas often visit the beach to feed on them.