A 5-year-old girl was killed by a jumping sturgeon on the Suwanee River in Florida on Thursday, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Jayln Rippy was killed by a leaping sturgeon while she was boating with her family near Fanning Springs, Fla. Her mother,Tanya Faye, 31, and her brother, Trevor, 9, were also injured and will need facial reconstruction surgery. This is the first fatality that has been recorded from a sturgeon strike on the Suwannee River, according to the commission. Four boaters have been injured this year. The Rippy family was airlifted to Shands Hospital in Gainesville.
Two more people were hurt by a jumping sturgeon on the Sante Fe River, Fla. The FWC reminds anyone in a boat to wear life jackets and do no stay on the bow of the craft. “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.”