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100-pound sailfish leaps out of water, stabs woman on boat off Florida coast

A 70-year-old woman was stabbed by the bill of a 100-pound sailfish that leapt out of the water and attacked her as her companions were trying to reel it in on a boat near the Florida coast, authorities said.

The sailfish stabbed the woman from Arnold, Maryland in the groin area with its pointed bill on Tuesday while she was standing in the boat as two companions tried to bring it in on a fishing line about two miles offshore from Stuart, Florida, according to a report from the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

The companions applied pressure to the wound, and the woman was taken to Stuart for medical treatment.

The woman told deputies that the attack happened so fast that she didn't have time to react, according to the sheriff's office report.

Fishing in the Florida Keys
Fishing for sailfish on April 18, 2013 in Key West, Florida. Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery / Getty Images

Sailfish are among the fastest fish species in the ocean and, like the swordfish, are recognizable by their extended, pointed bills. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says they are "known for their fast runs, acrobatic jumps and head-shaking attempts to throw a hook." The largest sailfish caught in the state was 126 pounds, but most anglers release the fish when caught.

Sailfish are the fastest fish in the sea and can reach speeds of 68 miles per hour, according to National Geographic.

The largest sailfish ever caught was 11.2 feet long and weighed 220.5 pounds, according to Oceana. They live primarily near the surface of the ocean, but can dive up to 1,150 feet to find food.

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