Massive spotted eagle ray jumps into family’s boat during fishing rodeo

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 10:07 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Jones family was wrapping up their day on the water near Dauphin Island when a massive, 400-pound, spotted eagle ray leapt into their boat. It smashed into them and their fishing rods, damaging the boat.

“All of a sudden, there was like a hard hit, a big splash, and a black blob that hit me and flew back,” said April Jones.

It was only day one of the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, but it was an exciting one for the Jones family.

April said, “I decided I was ready to go because I wasn’t catching anything that day and we left and that’s when it happened.”

This estimated, 400 pound, 7 foot spotted eagle ray jumped out of the water near Sand Island and into their boat. April took the brunt of the hit.

She said, “So she had a fish, a remora stuck to the bottom of her belly. I guess whenever she jumped in the boat, it knocked loose and was flapping around in the boat beside her.

The Jones family thought it was a shark at first.

April’s son Gunner said, “I was scared!”

The massive ray was too heavy to drop back into the water, so they made some calls and then headed toward the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

After getting help to lift the ray out, the Jones realized there were four pups underneath her in the boat. They didn’t survive the traumatic birth. After getting back on land, April went to the ER for a stiff shoulder from where the ray smacked her.

And since posting their adventure to Facebook, the post has reached thousands. The jones now with just photos to prove the freaky Friday on the water!

April said, “Trying to explain to people, this is what happened like even when I went into the emergency room, I was like I know no one’s gonna believe me but I have pictures to show it.”

The baby rays will be donated to the DISL and the lab will use them for research.

As for the Jones, they had to buy some new fishing rods and their boat suffered some damage from taking on the ray.


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