A bodyboarder has been discharged from a Sydney hospital after being hit by a dolphin at a popular South Coast surf spot.
John Wolfson from Manly was in Bawley Point as he celebrated his 27th birthday with friends, and enjoyed the big swell.
He was part of a group that headed to Nuggan Point, just north of Bawley Point, on Monday morning.
A pod of dolphins was also in the water and riding some of the waves, and as Mr Wolfson paddled over a wave a dolphin came up from below and hit him on the left side.
The impact was so strong it ripped Mr Wolfson’s wetsuit.
“He looked like he was wearing a rag,” said witness and surf photographer Jason Corroto.
He said the impact also left his friend doubled up in pain.
“He could not move at all. He thought he had broken his ribs,” Mr Corroto said.
Friends helped Mr Wolfson back to the shore and called for help, but paramedics were forced to walk about a kilometre across soft sand to the remote location.
They were joined on the scene by police and NSW Fire and Rescue personnel, and stabilised the man before loading him onto a four-wheel drive ambulance, which became stuck in the soft sand.
Mr Wolfson had to be unloaded before the ambulance could be moved, before he was put back into the vehicle and driven about 500m along the sand to a nearby car park, where he was transferred to another ambulance.
He was taken to Milton Hospital, where the Rescue 26 ambulance medical rescue helicopter was waiting to transfer him to St George Hospital in a stable condition.
Dr Peter Grant, a senior staff specialist in emergency medicine at the hospital, said Mr Wolfson was “in a lot of discomfort” when he arrived at the hospital.
“It’s hit him flush in the abdomen but he doesn’t appear to have sustained any life-threatening injuries,” Dr Grant said.
“At the moment he is stable, awake and in good spirits.”
Suffering no major injuries from the incident, Mr Wolfson was discharged from the hospital on Monday night.