dolphin

You've heard the old tale that a swan is strong enough to break your arm. Well it turns out dolphins can break ankles.

Dale Frickman was out in his boat off the coast of Southern California with his wife Chrissie and daughter Courtney.

Photo: Dale Frickman

They came across a large pod of bottlenose dolphins, when suddenly one of the mammals flopped over the railing and into the boat.

“It hit my wife and knocked her over, and punched my daughter," Dale told the Orange County Register.

Chrissie suffered two broken ankles and torn ligaments as a result. Luckily Courtney was unharmed.

Dale had to pull the dolphin off his wife and drive back to shore.

The cetacean was bleeding from his tail flipper and snout, but Dale kept splashing water on the creature until they reached the dock.

They hauled the dolphin out of the boat using ropes and chairs as levers, while Chrissie was sent to A&E.

Thankfully, the dolphin was saved and released back into the ocean. “It swam away with no problem," said Dale.

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Alisa Schulman-Janiger, a cetacean researcher from California, told GrindTV that this was the first incident of this kind in recent times off Southern California.

It just goes to show - nature can be a wild and unpredictable thing.