Freak hit by dol­phin very un­usual

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page -

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.

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