KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Ross: Woman bit by seal near San Juan Island ‘still loves seals’

Aug 22, 2023, 7:57 AM

seal bit san juan...

FILE-A harbor seal looks around in Casco Bay in this July 30, 2020 file photo off Portland, Maine. A research team at Colgate University has developed SealNet, a facial recognition database of seal faces created by taking pictures of dozens of harbor seals in Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, Files)

(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, Files)

Last Friday, Dana Halter, a published author, a mom, and a triathlete, was making her annual deep-water swim in the San Juans, circumnavigating tiny Trump Island, and she was a mile in, battling rough seas, when her escort in the rowboat noticed she had company.

DANA: “[My escort boat] said, ‘Did you see there’s a harbor seal following you?’ And I said ‘No,'” Dana said. “And at that exact moment, the seal bit my shin, and it was an incredibly painful, very deep bite. Then she just took off.”

More from Dave Ross: Robodrivers are being held accountable more than people

This had to be a terrible misunderstanding because Dana strikes me as a really nice person. She’s been on excellent terms with the harbor seal, and even played with one of them during a swim near Golden Gardens.

“I was swimming and saw a flash of silver below me, and it actually was a harbor seal playing with me, doing barrel rolls,” she said.

She loves seals.

“They remind me of dogs,” Dana said. “They’re so lovely.”

And the only explanation she has for the attack is that the seal was, like her, a Mom.

“She was like, ‘please get away from my child,’ and she got her wish because I have never swam so fast,” Dana said.

Dana broke her own record for the ten-stroke dash, hauled herself into the rowboat, and headed for the Emergency Room in Anacortes.

Eight stitches. Which are coming out today.

Dana plans to take it easy for two weeks, but she intends to be back in the water.

So this morning, I am asking all of you marine life whisperers, and I know you are out there, please spread the word that Dana is a friend, she means no harm to any harbor seal pups, she’s just out to get a little exercise.

“I still love seals,” she said. “I still think seals are terrific.”

By the way, since I know it will come up, the island she was circumnavigating is indeed named Trump Island, but he doesn’t own it, and there’s no family connection.

Although some of the defensiveness may have rubbed off on the local wildlife.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

KIRO Newsradio Opinion

...

MyNorthwest Video

Video: Netflix Decides to Change Their Subscription Options

What is Netflix up to this time? They’re just changing the plans they offer for the hundredth time. Gee Scott joins the SMN crew to talk about all things Netflix. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News w/ Dave Ross & Colleen O’Brien Show every weekday at 5am on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM or go to MyNorthwest.com […]

2 days ago

vote counts...

Travis Mayfield

Mayfield: One simple trick to ensure your vote actually counts

We should all care deeply whether our vote counts or not. And there is one surefire way to actually do that … check yourself!

2 days ago

...

MyNorthwest Video

Video: Tipping Culture’s NEW Incognito Way of Getting $$$

Toulouse Petit in Lower Queen Anne started charging a 5% “Living-wage” surcharge on all checks. The SMN crew and Gee Scott have some thoughts on this. What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News w/ Dave Ross & Colleen O’Brien Show every weekday at 5am on KIRO Newsradio […]

3 days ago

Image: Kimberly Cheatle is the 27th director of the U.S. Secret Service. She has held the position ...

Angela Poe Russell

Angela Poe Russell: The unlikely scapegoat in the Donald Trump assassination attempt

A Republican from Tennessee, said DEI was to blame for the tragedy that saw a gunman try to kill Donald Trump.

4 days ago

trump shooter motive...

Dave Ross

Ross: Motive of Trump shooter not important, how he got an AR-15 is

As much as we would all like to understand the motive of the Trump shooter, I don’t see us doing much with that information.

6 days ago

...

MyNorthwest Video

Video: Membership Fees at Costco Are Going Up!

Ursula Reutin joins the SMN crew to discuss some changes that Costco is making to its membership fees and the rewards it is giving back to members. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News w/ Dave Ross & Colleen O’Brien Show every weekday at 5am on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM or go to MyNorthwest.com to learn more! […]

9 days ago

Ross: Woman bit by seal near San Juan Island ‘still loves seals’