Florida resident, Tina Fletcher was in for a big surprise on Sunday when a jumping fish landed on her boat, breaking her leg.
According to MSNBC.com, the attack happened just days after wildlife officers in Northern Florida warned fishers of Sturgeon in the area. Sturgeon are known to jump on average weigh up to 300 pounds and be up to eight feet long.
Witnesses to the event described the fish that jumped on Fletcher to be up to six feet long and said that it appeared to weigh as much as 75 pounds. The injured 25-year-old was only a passenger on board the boat and there were no other reported injuries from other passengers.
This year there have been five other instances of Sturgeon interfering with boaters, only three which have resulted in injuries according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. One injury, caused by the same species of fish, occurred on May 14th, when an identified woman was hit in the back and another incident occurred on April 27th, when a female was hit with glass after a fish came through the windshield of her boat, reported The Toronto Sun.
In an interview with Southwest Florida Online, a local fisherman, Allen Martin, defended the fish, “I have seen these encounters referred to as attacks. However, these fish are in no way attacking when they jump. They are simply doing what they have been doing for millions of years, jumping.” But Martin does insist that the fish are still dangerous, “They have five rows of rock-hard scute along their sides, back and belly. When Sturgeon and boaters collide, the results can be devastating.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission last reported that the Suwannee River in Northern Florida where Fletcher’s incident occurred had a population of an estimated $14,000 Sturgeon, reported MSNBC.