LOOK: Rare spotted eagle ray lands on family’s boat

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 1:17 PM CDT
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DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WPMI) – An Alabama family participating in the state’s deep sea fishing rodeo Saturday were met with a big surprise when a whopper of a ray landed in their boat.

A spotted eagle ray landed in the family boat of April Jones.

“Very scared, very scared,” Jones said. “Not only the fact that we have this wild creature in our boat, we couldn’t get her out, and the boat is not very big and she was weighing the back of the boat down.”

The incident happened near the Dauphin Island lighthouse.

“My son said he thought it was a shark at first because we didn’t know, and my husband’s papa thought it was a shark too because there were a lot of sharks around,” Jones said.

It was about five feet wide and weighed 400 pounds.

“The sting ray just flounced around in the back of the boat and we couldn’t get her out,” Jones said.

After the family screamed the whole way to the dock, they discovered she wasn’t alone.

“When they were getting her out of the boat they found there were four babies that had passed away,” Jones said. “I’m assuming with her being in stress that she delivered them early.”

It had crushed fishing poles and even swiped Jones when it landed on the boat. She said it hit the right half of her body and had to go to the emergency room for a strained muscle.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab told Jones it was a one in a million chance for this to happen. She also found out some other cool facts about the spotted eagle ray.

“Her spots on her are just unique to her, and they’re almost like your fingerprint on your finger,” Jones said. “If you ever see this stingray, you can identify them if it’s the one you’ve seen before by their spots.”

The spotted eagle ray babies were taken to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. This particular one was released back into the water.

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