A Maryland woman was stabbed on a boat by a 100-pound sailfish that leaped out of the water as two other passengers were trying to catch the fish off the Florida coast, authorities said.
The incident happened about 2 miles off Stuart, Florida, on the morning of July 19, according to a report from the Martin County Sheriff's Office.
Sailfish Charged the Boat Before Jumping Out of the Water
The woman, identified as 73-year-old Katherine Perkins of Arnold, Maryland, told authorities she was stabbed in the groin by the sailfish's bill as she stood next to the center console. The other two passengers, Louis Toth and Dominic Bellezza, said the sailfish appeared to be charging the boat before it jumped out of the water and stabbed Perkins.
The attack occurred as she was standing in a boat while her two companions tried to pull the fish in on a fishing line. Perkins "said the incident occurred so fast she did not have time to react," the report reads. Toth and Bellezza applied pressure to the wound until they docked an hour later and fire rescue officials tended to Perkins' injury.
Perkins in Stable Condition
She was taken to a local hospital and was in a good condition in hospital as of Sunday, a spokesperson at HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital told CNN. The sailfish was estimated to weigh 100 pounds, according to the sheriff's office report.
Sailfish are among the fastest fish species in the ocean, and they can swim more than 60 mph. Like the swordfish, they are recognizable by their extended pointed bills. They can grow up to 11 feet long and weigh up to 220 pounds, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In 2015, a Hawaii man died after being stabbed by a Swordfish in the chest. Randy Llanes, 47, a fishing boat captain was impaled by the fish after he tried to spear it. The fish was about 3 feet (90cm) long with a bill about the same length, according to BBC News.