A 13-year-old junior surfing champion barely escaped serious injuries when a dolphin leaped out of the wave he was paddling on and landed on top of him and his surfboard.
Fortunately, Jed Gradisen saw the torpedo-like dolphin coming straight at him and managed to avoid the main brunt of the impact during the recent encounter near the Western Australian town of Kalbarri, according to Daily Mail Australia and WA Today.
Gradisen's surfboard wasn't as fortunate. The dolphin punched a hole in the surfboard with its nose.
"I was paddling back out," the WA under-14 state surfing champ explained in a Vimeo video. "I saw [the dolphins] coming. Oh my God, they were coming straight for me, so I tried to get out of the way and it jumped straight into me.
"And he just dove out of the water and I just jumped off my board and tried to get out of the way.
"It jumped a long way so I guess I had a couple seconds to react."
The dolphin landed on Gradisen's shoulder and the back half of his body.
"The dolphin reacted, I think, really shocked — almost as shocked as I was.
"Its nose went straight through my board. It must have hurt a bit. It was rustling around and really didn't know what to do."
Gradisen's father, Andrew, was filming his other son surfing a wave and was trying to capture a jumping dolphin in the same shot.
"Ben's on the wave and I'm filming, and this dolphin launches and I'm looking through the viewfinder and I see a splash," Andrew told Perth Now. "I didn't realize what had happened, but I see a kerfuffle in the water, all the boys in a group, and I'm thinking, 'That's weird.'
"Then one of the boys holds up the board and I could see daylight through it. The dolphin jumped straight on him and put his nose through the board. The dolphin's nose was caught in the board and it had to shake its head to get free. It was pretty wild."
Jed rolled off his surfboard just in time, taking a glancing blow for which he was sore for the next couple days, Andrew told Perth Now.
"It could have been a lot worse — that's the first thing I thought," Andrew added. "He's damn lucky. It had that much force [to punch a hole] I'm surprised the board didn't snap in half."
Imagine had it struck Jed with its full force. Kirby Brown, another local surfer, once suffered a broken leg when struck by a dolphin. So yes, Jed was damn lucky.
"In my dreams I wouldn't dream about anything like that because I think it was an accident the dolphin jumped on me," Jed said. "It was just as amazed as I was."
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