Fish takes down PWC rider

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AUGUST 10 - Another person has been injured this season on Florida’s SuwanneeRiver by a jumping sturgeon.

A 23-year-old man riding a personal watercraft Sunday near Wildwood, Fla., was struck and knocked into the river by a 4-foot sturgeon that jumped out of the water, the Associated Press reported. The collision reportedly knocked the man unconscious.

The man’s girlfriend, who was riding another PWC behind him, was able to reach him and hold his head above the water, the news report says. Passengers on another vessel later helped pull the man from the water. He was airlifted to a hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

In April, a 31-year-old woman riding on a boat on the Suwannee with her fiancé was hit in the face by a leaping 3-foot sturgeon. The impact was so severe the woman suffered several facial injuries and fractures, needed numerous stitches to her lips and wrist, had abrasions on her shoulders and fractured her spine, according to reports.

Gulf sturgeon, which can measure up to 8 feet long and weigh 200 pounds, can jump as high as 8 feet out of the water, reports say.

— Jason Fell