Coast Guard responds to kayaker bitten by barracuda near Big Pine Key, Fla.

USCG File Photo

Key West, Fla. — The Coast Guard and Tow Boat U.S. rescued a kayaker who was bitten by a barracuda near Big Pine Key, Fla. Sunday evening.

At approximately 5:15 p.m. a 45 -year-old female and her male companion reported they were kayaking in a two-person kayak when a barracuda jumped into the vessel and bit her in the chest, then jumped back into the water. She appeared to be suffering a possible punctured lung and broken ribs.

Coast Guard Station Marathon immediately launched a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft and Tow Boat U.S. responded with a small boat with a paramedic on board.

The kayak was in extremely shallow water and the other person onboard was unable to row the vessel to shore without causing further harm to the patient, but the Tow Boat U.S. small boat was able to get onscene and the paramedic onboard immediately began administering first aid to the patient.

The Tow Boat U.S. small boat transported the patient to Dolphin Marina, where she was transferred to a TraumaStar helicopter that flew her to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. The patient is listed in stable condition.

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