MIAMI -- The Hausch family will return home to Illinois with a great souvenir of their Florida Keys vacation: a barb from a majestic spotted eagle ray that jumped onto their chartered boat.
"I've only known two cases of that happening in the Keys in 22 years," said Bobby Dube, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The first case, in 2008, ended with the death of a 55-year-old tourist from Michigan. This fish tale, which started out scary, has a happy ending.
Hausch, 39, was struck in the chest by the five-foot-wide, approximately 200-pound sea creature last week. The collision knocked her to the deck, with the ray on top of her. But when she managed to crawl out from under it, she was not injured not even suffering a bruise.
The equally stunned spotted eagle ray apparently also survived the rare ordeal, swimming away after being helped off the 26-foot, pontoon boat.