Vicious Piranha attack at Open Water Grand Prix site Rio Parana

  7 Jared Anderson | December 31st, 2013 | Brazil, Latin America & Caribbean, International, News, Open Water

A school of piranhas attacked Christmas Day bathers in Argentine river Rio Parana, which is the first stop on the 2014 FINA Open Water Grand Prix circuit.

A large group waded into the Rosario, Argentina river to seek refuge from the 100-degree heat when the school descended upon them, injuring 70 people, according to Associated Press reports.

7 of the injured were children, some of whom lost entire fingers or toes to the fish, believed to be palometas, a species of piranha.

Rosario is slated to host the first Open Water Grand Prix event on January 26, but it’s unclear how this attack will affect the event’s status. According to an AP report from 1988, isolated piranha bites can be somewhat common in the area, as palometas typically hunt solo unlike other piranhas, but a large-scale school attack like the Christmas day incident is a much more serious development, perhaps serious enough to put the Open Water event in jeopardy for cancellation or relocation.


  1. James says:

    I’ve seen Piranha 3D…no way you would get e in that water now.

    • Triguy says:

      Yesss! I remember watching it a few years back and I didn’t go in the water for at least a month after, and was pretty timid at the first open water and triathlon races for the season

  2. TheTroubleWithX says:

    I really thought this had to be a joke when I first read the headline. Wow.

    • Jared Anderson says:

      This thing could come straight out the The Onion and I wouldn’t be surprised. Open Water swimmers live life on the edge, I guess.

  3. jiggs says:

    Probably not a good idea to go swimming in a river named “Parana”, or “Bay of Sharks” or “Electric Eel Lake” for that matter.

  4. DDias says:

    *Vicious Piranha Attack*hahaha… for non portuguese speakers: Piranha has the same meaning as SLU* in english.

  5. mitkoswim says:

    I swam this race back in 1996 (88K)..if they are talking for the same race. Its very uncommon for piranha to enter this particular section of the river/race. It must have been very warm or some other unusual events to trigger the behavior of this type of fish. This particular race is very dangerous in sense of large ocean boats traveling upstream the river or places you can get lost. Oh well, the bottom line is Grand Prix Open Water Races…are not for everyone.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career sixteen years and running wasn’t enough for this native Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for, covering swimming at every …

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