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NZ woman rescued from overly playful dolphin

world Updated: Jul 27, 2009 19:05 IST

AFP
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A woman swimmer in New Zealand had to be rescued from the sea after an excessively playful dolphin refused to let her return to shore, a report on Monday said.

The exhausted woman was clinging to a buoy offshore from the beach at Mahia on the east coast of the North Island as the dolphin swam around her and prevented her returning to shore, the Gisborne Herald reported.

But the woman, who did not want to be named, said there was nothing sinister about the behaviour of the dolphin named Moko, which regularly seeks out swimmers and people in boats to play with.

"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."

People on the beach heard the woman screaming and took a row boat out to rescue her.

"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," local bar manager Juanita Symes said of the woman.