NANFA-L-- Jumping fish injury

Gay (
Wed, 26 Apr 2006 17:28:33 -0700

BELL, Fla. -- A 31-year-old woman was hospitalized after a 3-foot-long Gulf
sturgeon jumped into her fiance's boat and hit her in the face.

Dawn E. Poirier of Kenneth City was injured in the accident that occurred
Saturday in the Suwannee River near Bell in Gilchrist County.

The impact of the fish's bony plates caused Poirier to suffer severe facial
injuries and fractures, requiring plastic surgery, her father, Ed White, 63,
of St. Petersburg, told The Gainesville Sun.

Poirier's father called the accident "an act of God."

The boat, being driven by Poirier's fiance, Johnson R. Staples III, 39, of
St. Petersburg, was traveling south on the river going about 35 mph when the
sturgeon jumped into the boat.

"It's like she slammed into a brick wall," White said.

Poirier was airlifted to Shands hospital-in-the University of Florida in
Gainesville, where doctors listed her in fair condition. In addition to the
injuries to her face, she had a spinal fracture, had stitches to her lips
and right wrist and scraped on her shoulders.

The 19-foot boat received $1,000 in damages, said Karen Parker, a
spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The fate of the sturgeon was not known.

Parker said sturgeon attacks occur once or twice a year on the Suwannee. The
fish can jump as high as 8 feet in the air and can weigh up to 200 pounds.

Al Anderson
6246 North Rural
Indianapolis IN. 46220
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