Authorities said a 73-year-old woman was stabbed by the bill of a 100-pound sailfish that leaped out of the water and attacked her while her companions were reeling it in on a boat near the Florida coast (per PEOPLE).
According to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the sailfish stabbed Katherine Perkins, of Arnold, Maryland, in the groin area with its pointed bill on Tuesday while she was standing in the boat as two companions tried to bring it in on a fishing line about two miles (3.2 m) offshore from Stuart, Florida.
The woman was taken to Stuart for medical treatment after her companions applied pressure to the wound.
According to the sheriff’s office report, the woman told deputies that the attack happened so quickly that she didn’t have time to react.
According to the sheriff’s report, two men on the boat with Perkins, Louis Toth and Dominic Bellezza, “stated Louis had a fish on the line and was attempting to bring it aboard” (per The Guardian).
The fish “was identified as a sailfish and… began to charge at the boat,” according to the report. “Louis and Dominic indicated the sailfish jumped out of the water and stabbed Katherine in the groin area while she was standing next to the center console.”
The two men “immediately applied pressure to the wound” before meeting responding officers on the beach.
According to NBC News, Perkins was taken to HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital. CNN reported on Sunday that the woman was in good condition, citing a hospital spokesperson.
According to National Geographic, sailfish are the fastest fish in the sea, reaching speeds of 68 miles per hour (109 km/h).
They are “known for their fast runs, acrobatic jumps, and head-shaking attempts to throw a hook,” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The state’s largest sailfish was 126 pounds, but most anglers release the fish when they catch it.
According to Oceana, the largest sailfish ever caught was 11.2 feet (3.4 m) long and weighed 220.5 pounds.