Inflatables lead to multiple rescues

Inflatables lead to multiple rescues

What do two inflatable paddling pools, a giant inflatable duck, paddleboards, kayaks and even a rubber dinghy have in common?
Inflatable unicorn on the water's edge of a beach

Answer: Coastguard rescues this week.

HM Coastguard has issued a reminder to beach goers this weekend, that inflatables are not for the coast. It follows multiple incidents across the country of people needing help after their inflatable was blown out to sea.

Warmer weather has seen people flock to our beaches in recent days, but the sunny conditions have also been accompanied by strong tides and offshore breezes, which has caught many out.

So before you set out this summer, remember to leave the inflatable at home and pack a lifejacket and wetsuit instead.

Large inflatable unicorn at water's edge
Inflatables like this one may look like fun, but they can be dangerous at the coast. Leave them for the pool.

HM Coastguard Network Commander Callum Jarvis said: "It is so important that people understand the risks involved in using inflatables at beaches.

“Inflatables are very light for their large surface areas, making them vulnerable to even seemingly mild breezes. 

“The sea can be deceptive and look much calmer than it really is, so as soon as you’re clear of the protection of headlands and bays, winds can really pick up.

“Tides and currents can also add to the dangers, which goes for all water-users and beach-goers, so it pays to check the tides and understand the local area. 

“Ultimately, we would always advise to leave the inflatable at home, it is simply not worth the risk.”

Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team and Troon lifeboats have been particularly busy this week, with four incidents involving inflatables.

Two of the incidents involved inflatable paddling pools with multiple people on board, with teams needing to step in quickly to return them to shore.

One incident, on Thursday evening, saw the helicopter based at Prestwick needing to be called in to carry out a rescue when the paddling pool with three people on board started taking on water.

The inflatable ended up so far offshore that the footage from the helicopter cannot see land.

The three were winched to safety before being returned to shore where they were met by Ardrossan and Ayr Coastguard Rescue Teams.



Another incident in the area involved a dinghy with four people on board as well as two people in difficulty on a paddleboard.

Newhaven lifeboat has also been called to recover a family being blown offshore, this time in a dinghy, while Plymouth and Yealm Coastguard Rescue Teams were joined by partners in the rescue of four paddleboarders in difficulty in Bovisand Bay.

Kingsbridge and Bigbury Coastguard Rescue Teams and Hope Cove Independent Lifeboat also recovered four people stranded on rocks having been blown offshore on paddleboards from Leas Foot beach, Thurlestone, on Friday.

The lifeboat was able to rescue everyone and bring them to the beach to be met and checked over by coastguard teams.

It follows the rescue of two people from an inflatable duck at Westward Ho! Beach on Tuesday.


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