Texas Fisherman Dies After Contracting Flesh-Eating Bacteria from a Cut

Raymond "Skipper" H. Mock, a beloved fishing boat guide, died July 30 after flesh-eating bacteria led to sepsis and organ failure

Skipper Mock
Skipper Mock. Photo: Skipper Mock/ facebook

A beloved Texas fisherman died after contracting flesh-eating bacteria from a cut.

Raymond "Skipper" H. Mock was a fishing boat guide on South Padre Island, on the southern gulf coast of Texas, before his death at 61.

Mock had contracted flesh-eating bacteria through an oyster cut, his friends and family told the Houston Chronicle, causing sepsis which eventually led to organ failure. He died July 30.

Flesh-eating bacteria, or necrotizing fasciitis, is very rare, affecting just 20,000 people in the U.S. a year. It occurs when bacteria enter the body through an open wound, causing soft tissue to decay. If not caught quickly — immediate symptoms include fever, nausea, diarrhea and chills — it can lead to sepsis and organ failure within hours. People with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe cases.

Mock "spent his entire life on the water," according to his obituary, after learning to fish from his grandfather. After high school, in 1982, he founded Catch the Fish Charter Service to help others reel in fish and taught his two kids, Victoria and Corey, the latter of whom followed his dad's path and became a full-time captain.

He is survived by his kids and his partner of 16 years, Karen Watt.

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Mock's sister, Rhodie Rawls, wrote on Facebook that the family is "heartbroken" to lose him.

"Thank you all for the prayers and encouragement the past few days. Sepsis and organ failure had taken over his body after contracting the flesh-eating bacteria last week and he was not able to fight it off."

Mock's friend John Dargan shared photos of the fisherman, writing: "Captain Skipper Mock, my very special friend and brother for over thirty years. 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."

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