Dolphin Crashes Wedding Anniversary by Breaking Woman’s Ankles


A dolphin leaped onto a boat off the coast of San Diego during the 18th wedding anniversary of a couple and broke both of a woman’s ankles as it thrashed around. Chrissie Frickman, her husband and their two children were boating and celebrating the couples’ 18th wedding anniversary on Father’s Day, June 21, when they saw a pod of dolphins swimming alongside of their boat. One of the aquatic mammals leaped onto the boat, and knocked Frickman to the deck, breaking both of her ankles, according to the Orange County Register.

The woman’s husband, Dirk Frickamn, said that the dolphin looked like “it was doing a flip,” and he added that “I guess it miscalculated.”

The 350-pound dolphin struck the railing and then landed on the boat, grazing the Frickman’s 16-year-old daughter as well as breaking the ankles of Dirk’s wife, Chrissie. It got wedged in between chairs and it could not escape on its own. The dolphin thrashed around and injured itself, bleeding from cuts on its nose and tail. Dirk stated that “Blood started splattering everywhere.” The Frickman’s 12-year-old son was uninjured by the wayward marine mammal.

Dirk pulled his wife out from under the dolphin and radioed the Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol as he headed back to Dana Point Harbor in Orange County. As he steered the boat, his daughter yelled out repeatedly “don’t let it die.” He and his family kept the dolphin hydrated and alive by splashing water on it.

Officials from the Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol met the boat as it was headed towards the harbor’s dock. They helped get Chrissie and their daughter to shore where an ambulance transported them to the hospital.

Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department called what happened “a freak incident.” He had never heard of anything like it having happened before.

Deputy Damian Crowson of the Dana Point Harbor Patrol was on standby when he received the call about the incident and rushed out to meet the Frickman’s boat. He said that because of the sight of “blood all around,” the boat looked “similar to a crime scene.”

Once moored at the dock, Frickman had to remove the seats the dolphin was wedged between. Crowson had to leave to help rescue a family of nine from as inking boat, but before he left, he gave Mr. Frickman a bucket to use to keep it hydrated.

Frickman continued to pour buckets of water on the animal he petted it, and he stated that it made “squeaking” noises “like in the movies.” It took him about 25 minutes to first realize that he had to remove the chairs and then to actually unbolt them from the boat and free the marine mammal.

Then, he and two dock hands extracted the dolphin, using a rope. The two “bait guys” pulled on the rope while Frickman pushed, and working together, they managed to pull it up onto the dock, where they then released it. The oceanic creature swam off, apparently none the worse for wear after having crashed a wedding anniversary and breaking the ankles of a woman aboard the boat.

Chrissie is still wheelchair-bound, for now, recovering from the two broken ankles caused when the dolphin leaped into their boat and crashed the wedding anniversary of the Frickmans. She said that she was “scared for the dolphin” when it leaped into the boat, and she was “scared for my kids.” She hoped that the aquatic mammal “would just jump back out.”

Looking back on the incident, she said she had “crazy thoughts” at the time, wondering if dolphins could “attack,” and if it was “scared.” She stated in an interview that the animal was probably “just as traumatized as we were.”

The dolphin that crashed into the Frickman’s wedding anniversary by leaping aboard their boat and breaking both of Mrs. Frickman’s ankles fortunately did not injure anyone else seriously in its efforts to escape, and it is now swimming somewhere in the ocean, perhaps having rejoined the pod it came from. The normally ocean-bound animal made the 18th wedding anniversary of the Frickmans definitely one to remember.

Written and Edited By Douglas Cobb

New York’s PIX11 / WPIX-TV: Dolphin leaps onto boat,
breaks California woman’s ankles
Science Recorder: California woman injured by leaping dolphin Dolphin Jumps on Boat, Crashing Wedding Anniversary
Photo Courtesy of Karen’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons 2.0

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