SHE does backflips and cheekily splashes visitors to her tank just like any other dolphin at the aquarium. But Winter is a little bit special. She lost her tail in a crab trap when she was a baby... and now shoots through the water with the help of a prosthetic one, specially engineered for her by scientists. And now the incredible story of her rescue and survival has been turned into a film - with Winter herself taking the starring role alongside Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr in Dolphin Tale. Winters story began five years ago when fisherman Jim Savage went out on a freezing cold December morning off the coast of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It was still dark when Jim, who is played by Connick Jr in the film, spotted a baby bottlenose entangled in a trap and fighting to breathe. Jim, who runs a car repair business, grabbed a knife to cut the mammal free from several thick ropes. I thought shed swim off and Id have a sweet fishermans tale to tell later in the day, he said. But she couldnt get away, she was squealing in pain and obviously horribly injured. Jim called the wildlife authorities, who told him they would send out a marine biologist. He says: I waited two, maybe three hours, so I kept talking to the dolphin. Id say, 'Youre going to be OK, no ones going to hurt you. She let me get close and her heart was pumping, her breathing was laboured. She was terrified. Her mother had gone, and without her to feed her I didnt think shed survive. One of the ropes was still caught in her mouth, she was terribly badly injured. When marine biologist Theresa Mazza arrived, she then sat for five hours in shallow water with Winter while they waited for a marine ambulance. When we first got close she was squealing in pain and freaking out, she says. But once I had her in the shallow water, she lay with her head in my lap. I kept splashing her and tried to shade her from the sun to stop her burning. She had cuts on her tail and mouth. Most animals we respond to are sick beyond help, so you try not to get too emotionally involved. But this was my first rescue mission out of college, I was 23, and I talked to her, telling her shed be OK. Mirror