Rare dolphin sighting off Jomtien

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Surapong dives into the water to not only swim with the dolphins but also to drive them back out to open sea.
Surapong dives into the water to not only swim with the dolphins but also to drive them back out to open sea.

PATTAYA – A rare dolphin sighting sparked excitement among a boat crew off Jomtien Beach.

A Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Foundation volunteer posted online a video of the Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphins. The aquatic mammals were spotted about 100 meters off the Jomtien coast May 11.

The volunteer, Surapong Boonmachai, said he spotted the dolphins while on a mission to recover a corpse from the water near Koh Phai. Two large Suasa chinensises (Chinese white) dolphins swam near the boat.

Each was pinkish in color and appeared to be happily frolicking in the water.

As they got closer to the coast he was scared they might be lost and run themselves aground. The volunteers tried to drive the pair back out to sea, but the dolphins – which live in coastal waters shallower than 20 meters – were having no part of it.

Surapong finally did what many only dream of and jumped in the water to swim with the dolphins. He said they didn’t appear frightened.

Finally he got back on board to deliver the body to shore and dispatched another team to monitor the dolphins.

Dolphins close to Pattaya are a rare sight after decades of overfishing by Thai boats. However, the pink dolphins are seen occasionally, but usually between Pattaya’s near and far islands.