A 5-year-old girl was killed Thursday by a jumping sturgeon when it hit her family’s boat on the Suwannee River near Fanning Springs, Florida.
The child, Jayln Rippy, died from a strike by the sturgeon, reports The Daily Mail. Her mother, Tanya Faye, 31, and brother Trevor, 9, were injured during the accident. They will both require surgery for facial injuries.
The following was posted on a GoFundMe page started for the family:
“The Rippy family was involved in an accident on Thursday, July 2, 2015 where a sturgeon collided with their boat. Their precious baby Jayln became an angel early July 3, 2015. Tanya and Trevor will both have to see specialist and face possible surgeries. This family will also face the cost of the funeral. Please donate what you can and continue to keep them in your prayers more than everything!”
Over $10,000 has been raised to date.
Two other people were also injured by a jumping sturgeon on Friday. Colleen and Charles Harvey were hit by a sturgeon on the Santa Fe River, eastbound from the Suwannee. They were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Jayln’s death is the first fatality from a sturgeon strike on the Suwannee River, reports WTSP. There have been four boaters injured this year.
A sturgeon may be as long as eight feet and weigh up to 200 pounds. It is common for them to leap from the water, as much as seven feet.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said boaters should remember to wear a life jacket and to not stay on the bow of the boat.
"With the low water levels in the river system, the sturgeon are jumping much more frequently than in recent years," said Maj. Andy Krause, FWC regional commander in Lake City. "We want everyone boating on the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers to be aware that the sturgeon are jumping and that people have been injured."
The FWC published the video below in April warning boaters of the jumping sturgeon on the Suwannee river and what precautions to take to avoid injuries.
Photo Source: GoFundMe