Leaping Stingray Swoops On Two Chicks Boat In Florida

Posted Mar 31st 2011 12:00 PMUpdated Mar 31st 2011 09:08 PM


stingray florida keys


An Illinois family vacationing in the Florida Keys got a big surprise when a stingray jumped onto their chartered pontoon boat.

The spotted eagle ray leaped onto the 26-foot boat in a channel in Islamorada and struck Jenny Hausch, 39, in the chest, reports the Miami Herald.

The collision with the five-foot, 200-pound creature knocked Hausch to the deck, but the stingray was apparently equally stunned.

The boat's captain shouted for help and a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) patrol boat happened to be nearby.

Hausch managed to crawl out from under the ray and was not injured, which officer Aja Vickers of the FWC tells the Herald, is "shocking" given the size of the ray.

Bobby Dude, a spokesman for the FWC, says a similar leaping stingray collision in 2008 resulted in the death of a 55-year-old tourist from Michigan. He adds the two cases are the only ones he's heard about in 22 years.

Hausch was on the boat, operated by Two Chicks Charter, with her husband, David, and three young children. They were finishing an excursion of snorkeling and shell collecting when they spotted 15 to 20 leaping eagle rays in the channel – which is not unusual, especially during mating season.

The officers used a rope to drag the unexpected passenger back in the water and the ray swam away. But the Hausch family retained one of the creature's venomous barbs as a souvenir, the newspaper reports.

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First a shark, now a sting ray leaping onto boats. I think the ocean is so poluted they want out!

March 31 2011 at 4:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I too was hit by a stingray in the Gulf of Mexico, riding as a passenger on a jet ski ! our speed was 40 mph, all of a sudden this stingray jumped out of the water in front of us, my husband who was driiving ducked just in time , but it smacked me head on, knocked me off the seat onto the back of the jetski, eventually i fell into the water! felt like i was hit by a car, had to go to hospital, never so SORE in my life !!!!was in bed for almost a month!!!! So it happens more often then people think!!!!!!!

March 31 2011 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply