You've seen the giant blow-up unicorn and flamingo floats at the pool and maybe even the beach. But now one North Carolina rescue group wants swimmers to understand the dangers associated with using them in the ocean.
That's after a scary moment for a family visiting Oak Island from Ohio.
On Monday, a little boy was floating on a large unicorn-shaped float when he drifted out to sea.
Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Tony Young said the raft acted like sail and the child couldn't stop it.
"They immediately called 911 when they realized they couldn't reach him, and they also told him to stay on the float," he said. "A lot of the time, people get in trouble if they abandon ship and try to swim back."
Young said he doesn't want to discourage anyone from using floats, he just wants them to be safe.
"These floats are very popular, we advise everybody to anchor them somehow, or have a parent hold on to a line," he said.
Oak Island Water Rescue had a boat in the water less than 15 minutes after the call came in.
Being a volunteer organization, Young said they do it because they want to help.
"Handing that little kid back to his mom after we brought him in from way out in the ocean on that float was payment enough for all of us," he said. "I'm sure I speak for the whole team when it comes to that."
Boy on unicorn-shaped float rescued off North Carolina coast after being swept away
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