SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com/AP) — A dolphin leaped onto a family’s boat in the waters off Dana Point, crashing into a woman and breaking both her ankles, it was reported Wednesday.
Laguna Niguel resident Chrissie Frickman was boating with her husband and two children June 21 when a pod of dolphins swam alongside them. One of the animals jumped on the 21-foot Boston Whaler, knocking Frickman over and landing on her legs, the Associated Press reported.
Her husband, Dirk, pulled her out and called authorities as he headed toward Dana Point Harbor.
While he steered, he splashed water on the 350-pound dolphin to keep it alive as it thrashed around and bled from some cuts — and as Frickman told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO, from there the scene got pretty messy.
“It’s kickin’ and bangin’ and smackin’ and once it did, it cut up its nose and got a few cuts on its tail, and as it shimmied its way around the boat, you know, the blood just started spattering everywhere,” he said.
Frickman got help pulling the dolphin onto a dock with a rope and then releasing it.
“We thought about getting six, seven guys to lift it, but that wasn’t going to happen and it was too tight of close quarters to even try and pick her up,” he said.
So instead, Frickman says he straddled the dolphin and pull out the seats in the boat to create more space. Then they got a rope around the dolphin’s tail, lifted the animal onto the dock, took the rope off, and released the dolphin back into the harbor’s waters.
“She swam away rather quickly,” Frickman added.
Frickman’s wife is still recovering from her injuries.
Harbor Patrol Sgt. DJ Haldeman confirmed the incident. He said sea lions have been known to jump aboard boats before, but that this is the first he’s heard of a dolphin doing the same.
“I don’t know what was in the water, but something must have scared it out,” Haldeman said.
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