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An Alabama family participating in a fishing event ended up with an especially rare catch when a 400-pound eagle ray jumped into their boat.

April Jones of Saraland said she and her family were participating in the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo when the giant ray jumped out of the water and landed on their boat, striking her in the shoulder.

The 5-foot ray was carrying a litter of pups, Jones and her family said.

The family took their boat to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to get help releasing it back into the water.

Marcus Drymon with Mississippi State University said eagle ray sightings are rare in the Dauphin Island area.

“We have an extraordinary diversity of fishes here in the north-central Gulf of Mexico and it’s a rare and exciting opportunity,” Drymon told WKRG-TV of the Jones family’s encounter.