A 100-pound sailfish that jumped into a boat off the coast of Florida and impaled a Maryland woman fishing there was brought to the hospital.
Last week’s attack left 73-year-old Katherine Perkins with a groin injury. She claimed that the fish moved so quickly that she didn’t have time to respond, according to a report from the Martin county sheriff’s department that the Guardian received on Monday.
A line was caught with the fish that stabbed Perkins about two miles off Stuart, Florida.
According to the sheriff’s report, Louis Toth and Dominic Bellezza, two men who were on the boat with Perkins, “said Louis had a fish on the line and was attempting to bring it onboard.”
The report said, “it was determined to be a sailfish and it started to charge at the boat.” Katherine was standing next to the center console when the sailfish leaped out of the water and attacked her in the groin, according to Louis and Dominic.
The responding cops were greeted on shore after the two guys “quickly applied pressure to the wound.”
To get to a hospital, Perkins was flown.
Sailfish are thought to be the fastest fish in the water, with swimming speeds of up to 68mph, a maximum length of 11 feet, and a maximum weight of 220 pounds.
They have white underbellies and are characterized as being “blue to gray in color” by National Geographic. They are so named because of their magnificent dorsal fin, which is taller than their thick bodies and spans almost the entire length of their bodies.
They belong to the billfish family and have a characteristic spear-shaped upper jaw that protrudes far beyond their lower jaw.
Sailfish use their bill to hunt, “either to tap on individual prey targets or to slash through the school [of sardines] with powerful lateral motions characterised by one of the highest accelerations ever recorded in an aquatic vertebrate,” according to a 2014 study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
“They are typically found far from land, near the ocean’s surface, where they hunt schools of smaller fish like sardines and anchovies that they guide with their sails, making them easy prey. They also eat octopus and squid.
Sailfish are “renowned for their quick sprints, acrobatic jumps, and head-shaking attempts to throw a hook,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Additionally, it states that “after a protracted battle, sailfish should be restored to ensure their survival. Most fishermen let these fish go.
This article by Martin Pengelly was first published by The Guardian on 25 July 2022. Lead Image: Sailfish are reputed to be the fastest fish in the ocean, capable of swimming up to 68mph. Photograph: Tosh Brown/Alamy.
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