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Last Updated: Monday July 27 2009 12:41 GMT

Playful dolphin strands swimmer

Moko

A swimmer who had being playing with a dolphin got stranded after the creature decided it wanted to carry on playing - and would not let her swim to shore.

The woman had been swimming off the coast of New Zealand but got tired and started to head towards the beach.

But the dolphin had other ideas, and she had to be rescued by boat after people nearby heard her cries.

The woman was very tired and cold but said the dolphin meant no harm and just wanted to carry on playing.

The swimmer, who did not want to be named and has fully recovered, told reporters: "We were playing around for a while but then when I wanted to go back in, he just wanted to keep playing.

"I became exhausted and started to panic."

Friendly

The dolphin, called Moko, is well known in the area and often swims with humans.

During the summer months he has lots of humans to swim with but it's winter in New Zealand at the moment and experts reckon he gets lonely and bored.

Moko hit the headlines last year when he rescued two pygmy sperm whales. The creatures were tired and confused and the dolphin helped guide them away from a sandbank and out to sea.