RZSL Ukrainian emergency workers saved a drunken swimmer in the Black Sea from an attack by a pod of killer dolphins who were trying to drown him.
The man was reportedly "heavily under the influence of alcohol" at the time. He had braved the near-freezing dolphin-infested waters in the belief they would be good for his health. That's his story and he's sticking to it.
The man was some 30m from the shore when observers noticed his distress as he was harried by a feeding group.
asyl Tenishchev, a spokesman at the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry, said: "If our guys had not been there, the victim surely would have been drowned. The dolphins probably were feeding on fish by cornering schools against the pier and the breakwater, and they saw the man as competition."
Happily, the unfortunate vodka fan escaped the ordeal unharmed, unlike the New Zealand woman who was struck by a 300kg leaping cetacean on a pleasure cruise in the days after Christmas. According to Sydney's Daily Telegraph, she remains in intensive care in Auckland.
The latest dolphin outrage is classic Black Sea dolphin behaviour according to Interfax, the Russian news agency. The mammals "lack the reputation of friendliness and love of humans enjoyed by dolphins in wealthy nations".
Ukrainian animal misadventures have earned their inclusion in the RZSL before. Last June, a man entered the lion enclosure at Kiev zoo proclaiming "God will save me, if he exists". He was promptly savaged. ®
Dyakooyu to our Eastern European drunken swimming correspondent Matt for the heads-up.