ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (July 2, 2015) – A woman’s close encounter with a dolphin ended in disaster when the animal jumped and landed in her boat, knocking her over and breaking her ankles.
Chrissie Frickman, her husband Dirk and their two children, ages 16 and 12, were boating near an Orange County harbor on June 21 to celebrate Father’s Day and the couple’s anniversary.
They spotted a pod of dolphins and steered the boat to get a closer look, according to KTLA.
“Normally the dolphins run with the boat, they play with the boat, they splash around in front of the boat and they run parallel to it, but this day they were moving a little slower,” Dirk said.
The family saw the dolphins do backflips and splash near the boat. One of them got too close.
“They were doing 360-degree backflips, in slow motion, right in front of the boat,” he said. “And then, about the fourth one came up right next to the boat … and I just saw this and it came up like a rainbow and … it bounced on the railing and then it flipped over backwards into the boat.”
The dolphin knocked down Chrissie, brushed the couple’s daughter and narrowly missed their son. Chrissie said it was like the dolphin “fell out of the sky.” The mammal then started thrashing on the deck.
They moved away from the dolphin and radioed for help. Chrissie didn’t know how she managed to move. She recalled not having any feeling at first before sharp pains took over.
Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department heard the radio call and escorted the family into the harbor. Chrissie and her daughter were taken off the boat while Dirk and his son stayed behind to figure out the best way to make sure the dolphin made it back into the water.
After removing all the seats on the boat, Dirk and the deputies were able to slide the dolphin back into the water. He said the mammal left a trail of blood in the boat after suffering some scrapes and a slightly sliced tail.
After making its way off the boat, the dolphin swam away. Chrissie, who’s in a wheelchair as she recovers from her broken ankles, said she was scared for the dolphin and her family.
“But I’m sure it was just as traumatized as we were.”