A lifeboat and a costguard search and rescue team were tasked to a person who’d been blown over 400m from shore into one of the busiest waterways in the world on an inflatable unicorn on Monday after luckily a passing kayaker assisted until Gosport Independent lifeboat recovered the casualty safely to shore. Inflatables are not suitable on the coast.
A further 15 people have had to be rescued along the south coast this evening (2 July) in separate incidents involving inflatables.
Good weather has meant people have been out in the sea for longer and there have been 18 incidents involving inflatable items where HM Coastguard has had to be called.
Some of these incidents resulted from abandoned inflatables which were then reported by concerned members of the public to the Coastguard, who then had to conduct search operations to ensure that no one was at risk.
HM Coastguard duty controller Piers Stanbury said: ‘We’ve had people rescued from a number of beaches along Hampshire and Sussex coastline. Each one of them had been using an inflatable. Thankfully, everyone so far has been rescued and is safe. We’ve had to waste RNLI and Coastguard volunteers’ time to ensure that abandoned inflatables did not have anyone at risk associated with them.
‘We can’t stress enough that these inflatables are not suitable for use in the sea. Tide conditions, the wind, any changes in the weather can just take them out beyond safe depths. Please, don’t use them, don’t take them to the seaside. Inflatables really should only be used in swimming pools, not at the coast where they can quickly go from being fun to being potentially deadly.’