(NEXSTAR) — A 70-year-old woman was stabbed by the bill of a 100-pound sailfish that leaped out of the water and attacked her.

The massive fish jumped out of the water as her two companions were trying to reel it in on a boat off Florida’s Atlantic coast near Stuart on Tuesday, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said.

The woman, who is from Maryland, was stabbed in the groin area by the fish’s pointed bill. Her friends applied pressure to the wound until she was able to get medical treatment. NBC News reports she was flown to a hospital for care.

Sailfish, which are native to Florida’s offshore waters, can grow up to 11 feet long and 220 pounds, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. They are easily identified by their sail-like dorsal fin, as well as their spear-shaped upper jaw the impaled 70-year-old woman became all too familiar with.

National Geographic calls them the “fastest fish in the ocean” as they can swim up to 68 miles per hour.

“Sailfish are known for their fast runs, acrobatic jumps and head-shaking attempts to throw a hook,” the Fish and Wildlife Commission writes. “Sailfish tire easily and should be revived after a long fight to ensure their survival.”

Most people who catch sailfish release them, the commission says. Their meat is tough, so they aren’t a popular choice for eating.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.