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Weeki Wachee mermaid badly hurt in boating accident

Samantha Maywell, a 24-year-old Weeki Wachee mermaid, was severely injured Thursday afternoon when she fell off the back of a pontoon boat and hit the boat's propeller, nearly severing her left leg, according to officials with Hernando County Fire Rescue and Weeki Wachee Springs.

Weeki Wachee Springs

Samantha Maywell, a 24-year-old Weeki Wachee mermaid, was severely injured Thursday afternoon when she fell off the back of a pontoon boat and hit the boat's propeller, nearly severing her left leg, according to officials with Hernando County Fire Rescue and Weeki Wachee Springs.

HERNANDO BEACH — A 24-year-old Weeki Wachee mermaid suffered severe injuries to her left leg when she fell off a 22-foot pontoon boat and into the propeller, authorities said.

Samantha Maywell, also known as mermaid Samantha, was injured about 4:30 p.m. Thursday while boating in the Gulf of Mexico, said Kevin Carroll, assistant chief with Hernando County Fire Rescue.

Authorities received an emergency call at 4:32 p.m. Maywell was brought to shore and received medical attention by 4:48 p.m., Carroll said.

She eventually was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson. An update on her condition was not available Friday afternoon.

Maywell suffered severe injuries to her left knee and ankle, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

She was alert and writing notes to her nurse Friday morning, according to a Facebook page that belongs to her mother, Deanna Ford Maywell.

According to the Facebook page, Maywell suffered two "severe breaks to her left leg" and had surgery.

During surgery, doctors reconstructed her left knee and ankle.

John Athanason, the marketing and public relations director for Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, said there were two other mermaids on board the boat and that they were all friends. They were not injured.

Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident.

Danny Valentine can be reached at dvalentine@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1432. On Twitter: @HernandoTimes.

Weeki Wachee mermaid badly hurt in boating accident 08/23/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 23, 2013 9:39pm]

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