Lonely Planet Writer

Scared dolphin jumps into boat and breaks woman's ankles

It was photo-bombing with a difference as a dolphin landed on a yacht just as an American husband and wife were celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary.

A dolphin, which could have been scared in the water, jumped into a boat off coast of California, breaking the two ankles of a lady on board
A dolphin, which could have been scared in the water, jumped into a boat off coast of California, breaking the two ankles of a lady on board. Image by Tim Dobson / CC BY 2.0

Worse followed as the leaping mammal landed in such a way that the wife’s two ankles were broken with the force of the impact she suffered.

The London Independent reported that Chrissie Frickman, her husband, Dirk, and their two children, were celebrating the special wedding anniversary off the coast of Orange County in California when they were gate-crashed by the flying flipper.

The family had spotted a pod of dolphins earlier close to Dana Point Harbour but were taken by surprise when the lone animal jumped into the Boston Whaler boat. Unfortunately Mrs Frickman was unable to avoid the flying dolphin – which resulted in her breaking both her ankles.

Mr Frickman managed to free his wife by lifting the dolphin off her but couldn’t assist the thrashing animal back into the water until the boat got back to harbour.

The Frickman family managed to keep the mammal hydrated on the journey into port by pouring water over its body and then helped release it back into the sea unharmed.

The Orange County Register reported that the dolphin was saved and appeared unharmed as it swam away.

The harbour patrol sergeant, DJ Haldeman, said it was the first time he had seen anything like it in his time. His feeling was that the dolphin had become ‘scared’ in the water, leading to the decision to jump into the boat.