Texas Man Dies After His Tattoo Gets Infected with Ocean Bacteria

A 31-year-old man swam in the Gulf of Mexico after getting a new tattoo — despite doctor’s warnings against it — and sadly died after contracting a flesh-eating bacterial infection.

The British Medical Journal published a paper on the incident, which serves as a warning for all who love the beach.

Experts warn that if you have an open wound or cut and go out in the water, you could end up contracting the flesh eating bacteria.

There were quite a few beachgoers on Padre Island Friday. No one expressed concern about vibrio.

“I’ve heard of it. Don’t know how many years it’s been here,” Jeff Funk said. “Been coming down since high school. I’m almost 64 and I’m still alive. I don’t think about it. I enjoy the water.”

It was last summer when Adrian Ruiz ended up with the flesh eating bacteria after a trip to the beach at Port Aransas. The Hays County man was lucky and survived his ordeal, but this latest case involved a tattoo.

William Berry of Pinnacle Tattoo has been a tattoo artist in Corpus Christi for seven years. He said people have to let their tattoos heal before getting into water.

“I know some people stay out of the ocean or the pools, hot tubs, that kind of stuff, for at least a week,” Berry said. “Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, but yeah, it’s pretty important to take that into consideration for sure.”

Berry recommends playing it safe and waiting two weeks for tattoos to heal before getting into the Gulf.

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