25 Survey: Acushnet woman attacked by dolphins on vacation left her spine fractured

Acushnet, Massachusetts — Celebrating the 40th wedding anniversary with children and grandchildren was a trip of several months. Janet and Steve Ferreira spared no expense. The Acushnet couple booked a family cruise to some Caribbean islands and Mexico, with some excursions along the way, such as swimming with dolphins in Cozumel.

Janet said it was all sunshine and laughter for the Ferreira family until things went wrong during the encounter with the dolphin she paid hundreds of dollars.

According to her grandmother and former first-year teacher, when one of the dolphins went wrong and plunged into the lower back, she was waiting for the two dolphins to swim behind for “dolphin towing.” ..

“Maybe two seconds after that hit, another hit will occur,” Janet recalls the August 2019 attack. “It’s like someone taking a baseball bat, just as David Ortiz has a baseball bat and swings it on my back. You say,” If this hits me again, I’ll You may die. ” I die in front of my family and in front of my three young grandchildren. “

She says the dolphin hit her three times before the trainer pulled her out of the water and jumped in.

Janet was taken to a local hospital with a broken spine and ribs. She doesn’t speak Spanish, so it was difficult to communicate with her medical staff. When she fought severe pain, her family and her friends who returned home worked 24 hours to get her back to Boston by ambulance.

Janet has filed a proceeding against Dolphin Discovery Cosmel and Royal Caribbean, the cruise lines that booked the dolphin excursion. Royal Caribbean refused to comment on the proceedings in dispute. However, in a statement, Dolphin Company, the parent company of Dolphin Discovery Cosmel, which operated Janet’s excursion, said:

“For over 27 years, the Dolphin Company has operated with the utmost respect and consideration for our customers, team members and the animals we care for. Every year, 2 million visitors to me around the world. Visit our park. Above all, safety and security are our top priorities. Unplanned experiences of any kind are very rare, but we take them very seriously. Dolphin Discovery. Cozumel has been a member of our park family since 1998 and has received more than 1.8 million visitors since then. “

“She lay in bed for about a day and a half without any treatment until transportation was arranged,” said Janet’s lawyer George Leontyre.

Dolphin attacks are rare, but travel injuries are common. When trouble occurs in a foreign country, it can be catastrophic.

“You feel lonely, you are helpless. They were helpless because they felt they didn’t know what to do. They didn’t know how to handle it,” Janet’s husband Steve said. He talked about his experience in investigating people.

According to the CDC, one in five Americans was injured during the vacation. Car and bicycle crash. Sliding and falling; Food poisoning; Water, theme parks and sports accidents are at the top of the list. Anne Lischwe, Travel Advisor at AAA Northeast, said access to health care varies from country to country.

She says Medicare and most private health insurance do not cover medical care outside the United States, and in some countries doctors need proof of payment before they see you.

Lischwe recommends travel insurance. There are a myriad of short-term policies available that cover medical expenses abroad, ambulance rides to the United States, and refunds if a family member becomes infected with COVID immediately before or during a trip.

“One size doesn’t always fit all. I want to think about what’s important to me and what I’m worried about,” says Lischwe. “Calling one number will tell you what to do. They will tell you which hospital to go to. They will go through all of that.”

Travel insurance costs about 3 to 11 percent of the total travel, depending on policy and destination.

It took more than a month for Janet to recover. She can no longer teach because she has permanent damage to her spine.

“I go shopping on the island. There are no excursions of any kind, method, shape or shape,” she said.

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