Dolphin attacks leave swimmers with broken ribs and bitten hands at beach in Japan’s Fukui prefecture
A spate of dolphin attacks at a beach in Japan on Sunday has left four swimmers injured, with one man in his 60s suffering broken ribs after a dolphin rammed into him. Similar attacks are reported to have occurred at a beach in the same prefecture in 2022.
The incidents on Sunday, 16 July, occurred close to the shoreline at Suishoma beach in Mihama, in the Fukui prefecture of Japan – a popular tourist destination known for its clear waters and white sand beaches along the southern shores of the Sea of Japan. An eyewitness reported the first attack that left a man with several broken ribs to the police just after 4:10am local time.
Later that day, a man in his 40s was bitten on his arm by a dolphin, and two further beachgoers were injured.
Authorities have warned visitors to not enter the water if dolphins are present, and signs have also been put up to alert beachgoers of the dolphin attacks.
In 2022, at least 10 incidents were reported after a series of biting incidents – thought to be carried out by just one dolphin – happened in the same prefecture, according to local media. At the time, a device which emitted ultrasonic frequencies was set up on the beach in an attempt to prevent the dolphins from approaching the beach.
‘Dolphins tend to be considered cute, but if you approach wild dolphins carelessly, you might get bitten and injured,’ Fukui Prefectural Police wrote in a 2022 Twitter post.
‘If you spot any, don’t go near them,’ added the police representative. ‘We encourage visitors to watch the dolphin from afar if they come across it.’