Woman Hospitalized After 70-Pound Fish Knocks Her Overboard

The woman broke both of her arms, her collarbone and several ribs, and sustained a lacerated liver and facial trauma

By Karen Franklin
|  Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012  |  Updated 10:33 PM CDT
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Six people were injured by sturgeon in 2011.

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A Florida woman sustained severe injuries after a 70-pound sturgeon jumped across her boat and knocked her overboard, the Gainesville Sun reported.

Brianne H. Megargel, 31, broke both of her arms, her collarbone and several ribs, and sustained a lacerated liver and facial trauma, after the fish violently knocked her off her husband's moving boat and into the water, the newspaper said.

Her husband's 10-year-old son steered the boat toward her while her husband, Steve Megargel, rescued her.

“I believe if it hadn't been for him that Brianne wouldn't be here today, that she would have drowned,” her father Michael Hart was quoted as saying. “My grandson was still in the boat. He stayed composed enough ... to operate that boat and get it into position where he could get his mama back on board.”

Brianne Megargel was airlifted to a hospital where she remained on Tuesday, according to the newspaper.

“She is a tough cookie, that's for sure,” Hart was quoted as saying. “She's always been an active person. Now she's in bed with two broken arms and realizing she isn't going to be able to do anything for herself.”

The Gulf sturgeon can grow to more than six feet in length and are covered in bony plates, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website. They live in saltwater and travel to freshwater rivers to spawn.

Six people were injured from encounters in 2011, according to Karen Parker of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

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