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Flying Fish Send Two Florida Boaters to the Hospital; Sixth Sturgeon Strike this Summer

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SARASOTA, Florida -- A sturgeon in the Suwannee River injured two boaters Saturday when it leaped from the water, knocking one girl from the boat and breaking the arm of another passenger.

Cheyenne Russ, 9, and Jennifer Sullivan, 31, both of Lake City, were taken to Gainesville's Shands Hospital after the Saturday accident.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer Dorvan Daniel witnessed the strike.

"I saw this vessel . . . coming toward me at about 30 miles per hour. I watched as the fish jumped out of the water and heard the impact when it hit. The child was knocked out of the boat and into the water," said Daniel, who estimated the fish was 4 -feet long.

"Boaters have been seriously injured when hit by these fish," FWC Maj. Bruce Hamlin said. "This is the sixth reported sturgeon strike this summer."

The fish winter in the Gulf of Mexico and enter the Suwannee in the summer and fall to spawn.

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Reader Comments

1 person has commented so far. cloud add your comment

This fish sounds familiar because we have something sort of like that here where I live. My mom and dad were fishing in what we call Huvies lake and a giant flying fish came out of the water and landed in the boat, and several after that. Everytime that they would turn on the motor it would draw these fish to the boat. I think it is some sort of carp that is what some people are calling them in our lakes and rivers and taking over. I heard that some skiers have been hit by these fish. In my opinon.
   comment# 1   - Ashley U. · Evansville, IN, USA · Mar 14, 2007 @ 8:58am
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