This weekend jumping sturgeons reminded us that they can certainly make waves!
The Rippy family was boating on the Suwanee River near Fanning Springs when their lives were turned upside down. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported on the fatal accident.
According to reports, five year old Jayln Rippy was killed on Thursday by a jumping sturgeon. Also involved in the accident was her mother, Tanya Faye (31) and her nine year old brother, Trevor. Both family members, needing facial surgery, were airlifted to a Gainesville hospital alongside sweet Jayln.
Their family has started a crowd funding campaign on gofundme to help with medical and funeral costs.
The FWC tells us that this wasn’t the first incident this year of boaters being injured by jumping sturgeons but it was the first fatal injury.
The Friday following the Rippy family accident, another group was hit! Colleen and Charles Harvey were boating on the Santa Fe River when a sturgeon jumped up and injured them. The couple was also taken to the same Gainesville Hospital (Shands).
FQC regional commander, Maj Andy Krause warns the public:
“With the low water levels in the river system, the sturgeon are jumping much more frequently than in recent years. 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.”
Sturgeon strikes and injuries are very serious and life threatening. Any incidents should be reported to the FWC at 888-404-3922.