Eagle ray leaps into charter boat01/04/2011 04:11:25
200lb ray hits passenger in the chest
April 2011: A tourist in the Florida Keys has a remarkable story to share after a close encounter with a spotted eagle ray. While on routine patrol in Whale Harbor Channel, officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission passed an eco-tour charter boat from which passengers were taking photos of a spotted eagle ray in the water.
Moments later, the officers heard a commotion on the boat. They headed towards it and discovered that a 200-pound ray had leapt from the water and landed in the boat, hitting a female passenger in the chest.
The woman was not injured, but the ray was thrashing violently in the bow area.
'It was an incredible experience'
‘It was an incredible experience; we are really happy that no one was hurt and the eagle ray survived,' said Aja Vickers, one of the two officers at the scene. ‘We are glad we were nearby and could provide a timely response.'
Spotted eagle rays are commonly found in shallow inshore waters. They can have a wingspan of up to 10ft and weigh as much as 500lb.