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Talk about a close encounter.
This past weekend, April Jones and her family were partaking in the Deep See Fishing Rodeo near Dauphin Island, Alabama.
Things were looking pretty bleak for the family, and not overly eventful, until one jaw dropping event took place that could’ve possibly turned deadly.
We’re talking about a MASSIVE eagle ray jumping into the family’s boat.
The surprise jump from the eagle ray basically sent Jones to the hospital. She recalled the wild event to WKRG News 5:
“It hit the right side of the body and pretty much had to go to the emergency room.”
Luckily enough, she only suffered a minor shoulder-sprain from the scary event.
Her husband Jeremy also recalled:
“She starts screaming, I hear stuff breaking and flopping, my grandpa falls into me, I look back, this ray is laying on the back of the boat.”
The family was able to snap a couple of wild photos of the huge white spotted ray.
Marcus Drymon from Mississippi State University weighed in on the surprise jump:
“We have an extraordinary diversity of fishes here in the north-central Gulf of Mexico and it’s a rare and exciting opportunity.”
Drymon also added that eagle rays aren’t endangered, but are rarely found in these waters.
The eagle ray was estimated to weigh around 400-pounds, and the family headed off for the Sea Lab to figure out how they could get the massive ray back into the water.
Eagle rays can be up to 10 feet wide and weigh in somewhere between 400 and 500 pounds. They also have venomous barbed stingers at the base of their tails which
It turned out to be a mother eagle ray carrying four pups. Although the mother was able to make it back into the waters, the four pups didn’t make it.
April and Jeremy’s eight-year-old son Gunner also added that he wasn’t scared at all:
“When we got it out of the boat I wasn’t scared, it was kind of cool.”
Spotted eagle rays have been known to jump out of the water, and occasionally land in boats.
One one rare occasion, a woman was struck in the head and killed by the massive ray.
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