April 14, 2023
This majestic sailfish was sighted this week swimming in about 20 feet of water by divers in Riviera Beach below the Blue Heron Bridge.
In an interview with Fox 29 News one witness, Alyssa Ave shared, “The water visibility was like 30-40 feet. It was gorgeous. A lot of eagle rays were out and fish—we saw almost everything but we were not expecting to see a sailfish.” She continues, “I went up, took my mask off and I started yelling. I wanted somebody to see because I thought I was going crazy.”
Many divers and onlookers got a look at the sailfish cruising the Phil Foster Snorkel Trail including Marie Haze and Marc Evanier who captured this video.
Local Scuba Instructor and conservationist Jim Abernethy weighed in after seeing footage of the fish, “Having been diving there for 50 years, I’ve never seen a sailfish there.” He speculates, “I’m guessing that with the baitfish that are offshore that it got sucked in the inlet at high tide.”
While shallow water sails are not unheard of, seeing them further inland than the beaches is truly a rare sight.
Blue Heron Bridge, dubbed “Florida’s Exotic Critter Capitol”, is a world-renowned diving spot popular with locals and out-of-towners that is best known for its ease of access, clear waters and rich diversity of marine life. I guess you can add sailfish to that list of species now.