Tags: girl | killed | sturgeon | florida | boat

Girl Killed by Sturgeon While Boating on Florida River

By    |   Monday, 06 Jul 2015 09:22 AM

A 5-year old Florida girl was killed by a jumping sturgeon while on a boat with her family last week in a freak attack that also saw her mother and brother injured.

Jaylon Rippy was in a family friend’s boat near the Joe Anderson Boat Ramp in the Suwanee River with her parents and 9-year old brother Thursday when a jumping sturgeon leapt out of the water and struck her, WCJB reported. The girl died shortly after while her brother and mother, Tanya Rippy, were airlifted to UF Health-Shands hospital to be treated for a broken arm and facial injuries, respectively. The girl’s father was uninjured.

"It's a sad thing. It's really bad when any child or anybody, you know, dies. I know there's a lot of sturgeon out here, so it is a health risk to get out there and go fast on your boats and you can end up hurting yourself seriously if you're not paying attention or not paying attention to the sturgeons jumping," Pat Overstreet, a Dixon County resident, told WCJB.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family at this time,” Andy Krause, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission regional director, said, according to Fox News. “This is a terrible tragedy."

The Commission also said that the incident marks the first sturgeon-related fatality on the Suwanee River, The Associated Press reported.

Family and friends of the Rippys set up a GoFundMe page and account at the Drummond Community Bank to raise money for funeral and medical costs as a result of the incident.

"With the low water levels in the river system, the sturgeon are jumping much more frequently than in recent years," Krause said, according to WTSP.

On Friday, Colleen and Charles Harvey were hit by a jumping sturgeon while boating on the Santa Fe River in Florida. After the incident, the pair was also transported to UF Health-Shands hospital in Gainesville.

Krause says that the Commission “[wants] everyone boating on the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers to be aware that the sturgeon are jumping and that people have been injured."

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A 5-year old Florida girl was killed by a jumping sturgeon while on a boat with her family last week in a freak attack that also saw her mother and brother injured.
girl, killed, sturgeon, florida, boat
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2015-22-06
Monday, 06 Jul 2015 09:22 AM
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