Woman Pinned Under 300-Pound Ray: "It Could Have Been a Much Worse Outcome"
Jenny Hausch, the woman who found herself pinned underneath a 300-pound eagle ray during a chartered fishing trip off Islamorada, is speaking out after the freak incident. The mother of three young children tells CNN she instantly went into survival mode after the ray jumped out of the water and landed right on top of her. Perhaps most interestingly, she says the family decided to continue the rest of the charter trip as planned.
"As I was snapping a picture of the eagle ray in the water, it jumped out and I was able to get the picture of it flying in the air. And then the next jump, the eagle ray jumped straight into our boat, straight at my chest -- 300 pounds -- and knocked me backwards and was flapping around on top of me," Hausch tells CNN.
"I just basically pushed it off, pushed it off of me, and tried to scoot backwards as fast as I could. I think all of us were in survival mode at that point and just doing whatever we could to get away from the ray," she recounted.
Hausch was aboard the Two Chicks charter boat this past weekend with her husband, two sons, daughter, and Capt. Kelly Klein.
As the ray jumped into the boat, it soared directly above the young girl, hit one of the boys with its wing and the other with its tail, but Hausch took the brunt of the impact and was trapped.
Luckily her husband quickly moved the children to a safer part of the boat to avoid the animal's potentially dangerous barbed tail.
Nearby Florida Fish and Wildlife officers quickly arrived on the scene and were able to hoist the ray off of Hausch and back into the water.
Fortunately no one was injured. The same couldn't be said of a woman who was also hit by a jumping eagle ray in 2008 in the Keys. The ray jumped out of the water as the boat she was on passed. It hit her near the neck, and both the woman and ray died from the collision.
"If it had [hit] a few inches higher, it could have been a much worse outcome," Hausch says of her experience.