Branson’s visit: three stitches and a stingray ‘bite’

While on island for just a couple of days for the Legends Tennis event and the Alternative Investment Summit, Sir Richard Branson managed to walk into a glass door, requiring three stitches on his forehead, and get “bitten” by a stingray while touring Stingray City with Guy Harvey.

On his company blog, Sir Richard wrote, “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.

“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.”

A photo on his site shows a wound from a stingray bite on his wrist, though stingray “bites” are more from suction and not from teeth.

As if the bite was not enough, Sir Richard later walked head-first into a glass door at a jewelry store while shopping for an anniversary present for his wife.

He wrote, “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.”

Despite his injuries, Sir Richard made it to his talk on Friday with Guy Harvey at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit and then played mixed doubles tennis with Anna Kournikova, Mansour Bahrami and Ashley Harkleroad at the Legends Tennis event at Camana Bay.

UPDATE 10 a.m. Friday:

Jason Felts with Virgin, responding to recent reports on Sir Richard Branson’s stingray “bite” writes, “Contrary to tabloid and media reports Richard Branson was not ‘attacked’ or ‘bitten’ by a Stingray while in Cayman. He was merely kissed by the (non deadly) southern stingrays and received a hicky as a result. It was by his and the stingrays own choice to keep kissing. What can I say, he is a passionate guy.”

Addressing the articles that have appeared in papers in the United Kingdom and here, Mr. Felts writes, “As we know all too well, some journalists like to sensationalize in order to garner impressions, hits, likes or whatever they are seeking and when someone of notoriety is involved its all the easier. Richard loves the Cayman Islands, is passionate about the oceans and the Rays and will be returning with me and/or on his own accord many more times. Our first stop, no doubt will be Stingray City.”