A New Zealand woman was rescued freezing and exhausted from the sea yesterday after a playful dolphin prevented her return to shore.
Eyewitnesses at the town of Mahia noticed the woman was at sea with the dolphin, known locally as Moko, for some time late yesterday afternoon, before she began screaming for help.
Speaking about the incident, Juanita Symes the manager of a local bar said, “My uncle Ian was down at the beach getting some salt water and he heard her screaming. He came running into the restaurant and said to me ‘there’s a girl stuck on the buoy and Moko won’t let her come back in.”
“At first I thought he was joking. Then another guy ran in from the beach and said we needed to get help.”
The pair jumped into action and borrowed a dinghy from a nearby house and immediately headed out to rescue the woman.
“When we got out there she had wrapped herself around the buoy and was absolutely freezing, she was freezing to death. She was completely exhausted. If we had left her any longer, she would have run out of energy. It took three of us to drag her into the dinghy because she had no energy.”
Thankfully, a paramedic was waiting on the beach to treat the woman when they returned to shore.
According to the woman, who has asked not to be named, Moko was swimming around and under the buoy and diving alongside the woman whenever she tried to move. She also said Moko was very special to the area and she did not want people to get the wrong impression that he was trying to cause her harm.
“I went out by myself quite late at 4.30pm, which probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do. I was wearing a wetsuit.
“I’ve spent quite a bit of time swimming with Moko and I’m a strong swimmer, so I wasn’t worried at first,” she said.
“We were playing around for a while but then when I wanted to go back in, he just wanted to keep playing. I became exhausted and started to panic.
The reality set in that I was out in the ocean with a wild animal and no people around, so I felt quite vulnerable.”
Image Credit – kalandrakas on flickr