Last week, a leaping 9-foot dolphin accidently ended up in an 18-foot boat in the Intracoastal Waterway near New Smyrna Beach, Florida. As the panicked animal tried to escape from the vessel, it repeatedly hit the two boaters, 64-year-old Norman Howard and his wife Barbara, with its powerful tailfin.

It was slapping me pretty hard,” Howard said. “Yeah, it was throwing some good punches. Mike Tyson couldn’t hit harder than that.

dolphins Leaping dolphine lands in boat   Injures boater

The U.S. Coast Guard arrived to the scene after receiving calls from witnesses of the weird accident, and promptly rushed the couple to Bert Fish Medical Center. Howard says he was smacked in the face and ribs, while his wife received lacerations to her face.

The dolphin could be rolled back into the Intracoastal Waterway after the accident.

Many dolphin species are agile jumpers and the Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is for instance known to leap up to 10 feet (3 metres) or more. The maximal height of a leap depends on the individual animal and the surrounding water, since the dolphin uses its flukes to projectile itself into the air. In shallow waters, dolphins cannot jump very high.