South Padre Island fisherman dies after contracting 'flesh-eating' bacteria

A popular 61-year-old South Padre Island fisherman died on July 30 after contracting the "flesh-eating" bacteria from an oyster cut, according to friends and family.

Raymond "Skipper" H. Mock contracted bacteria called vibrio, which flourishes during warm weather. The Weslaco-based McCaleb Funeral Home announced Mock's passing on social media on Friday, July 30. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 80,000 people a year are infected with vibriosis. The bacteria live in coastal waters and increase concentration when the water warms between May and October. 

Humans can contract the bacteria, often called "flesh-eating" because of the visible skin lesions it sometimes leads to, by consuming raw shellfish or exposing open wounds to water. 

Since his passing, many on social media have remembered Mock and the legacy he left behind, as he helped establish coastal Cameron County as a premier fishing destination, according to Channel 5 News.

Joseph Farah wrote in a Facebook post it's sad to hear about the great guide and captain who passed away from the complications of the infection.

"It has always been a very serious deal and very fast-moving," he writes. "Any time you have a cut or area that is getting infected or painful quickly after being in the bay waters, do not hesitate."

John Dargan also wrote on the Facebook post how Mock was a very special friend and brother for over 30 years. He writes, "Fondly considered a special member of my family. A man of steel with a heart of gold. The best of the best sea captains you could ever hope to fish with. Rest In Peace Skipper. We will remember and think of you each and every day."

Mock's sister wrote on Facebook as well she's heartbroken to lose her baby brother. She thanks everyone for the prayers and encouragement during this time. She says sepsis and organ failure had taken over his body after contracting the flesh-eating bacteria last week.

"He was not able to fight it off," she wrote.

Visitation and a life celebration will be from 3 to 6 p.m. on August 8 at the Parrot Eyes Restaurant and Bar in South Padre Island. For more information, visit Mock's obituary at the Weslaco-based McCaleb Funeral Home.

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