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Maryland woman impaled by 100-pound sailfish while fishing off Florida coast

STUART, Fla. — A Maryland woman was injured Tuesday when she was impaled by the bill of a 100-pound sailfish while fishing off Florida’s east coast, authorities said.

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Katherine Perkins, 73, of Arnold, was recovering in a Fort Pierce hospital after she was stabbed in the lower abdomen, TCPalm.com reported.

According to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the woman was injured when her friend was hauling in his sailfish catch on their boat about two miles off the coast of Stuart, which has been billed as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” since 1938.

The man was preparing to pull the fish onto the boat to take a photo before it charged and struck Perkins, WPEC-TV reported.

“The sailfish jumped out of the water and stabbed Katherine in the groin area while she was standing next to the center console” of a Key West fishing boat, the sheriff’s office said.

Sailfish have an elongated upper jaw that protrudes from their body like a spear, TCPalm.com reported.

Louis Toth, 75, and Dominic Bellezza, 77, both of Stuart, immediately applied pressure to Perkins’ wound and headed toward shore while calling authorities, according to the website.

Sailfish, noted for diving deep when hooked and producing long fights with anglers, are almost always released. Florida regulations allow fishermen to take one per day with a minimum length of 63 inches, TCPalm reported.


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