Freak hit by dolphin very unusual
AWOMANcrushedby a 300kg bottlenose dolphin that jumped into a boat off New Zealand’s North Island remains in a critical condition.
Kelly James, 27, whose parents live at Noosa, was knocked unconscious and suffered severe chest injuries in the freak Boxing Day mishap off the Coramandel Peninsula.
Ms James went into cardiac arrest as she waited on a beach for a helicopter to take her to Auckland Hospital where her condition is reported to be critical but stable.
Her parents arrived from their home in Queensland and are at her bedside.
Ms James’ partner Dion Lawson said the dolphin slammed into her upper body.
He said the impact hurled a male friend out of the boat, while he and another woman were knocked over.
Mr Lawson said the boat had been ‘just cruising along’ when several dolphins began to jump. ‘‘They were just playing,’’ he said.
Ms James was sitting on the boat’s bow when one of the dolphins leapt into the air about five metres away.
Otago University marine biologist Steve Dawson said the accident was extremely unusual and was probably a ‘miscalculation’ by the dolphin.