Dale looked to be heading for a rare away victory when captain Gary Jones gave Steve Eyre’s side the lead with a first half spotkick.
There was no doubting referee Gavin Ward’s decision to point to the box after Nicky Adams had been pulled down by Stephane Zubar and midfielder Jones calmly stepped up to pick out the bottom left hand corner in the 30th minute.
The visitors felt aggrieved when Ward handed Bournemouth a penalty of their own when Wesley Thomas went down under a challenge from goalkeeper Jake Kean.
Kean had cause to claim as he made contact with the ball and the linesman’s flag stayed down but Ward was not deterred and Symes kept his calm to equalise for the hosts in the 68th minute.
Rochdale’s misery was almost compounded in the dying seconds when Symes was sent clear but could only lift his volleyed shot over Kean’s crossbar and into the stand.