4 Jan 2019

Inflatable beach toys risk of getting blown out to sea with users

6:35 pm on 4 January 2019

More and more people are taking inflatable toys to beaches, but Surf Life Saving is warning that it's easy to be caught out by the conditions.

Inflatable beach toy flamingo

Inflatable beach toys pose a risk in offshore breezes, which can push them out to sea quickly, according to Belinda Slement from Surf Life Saving. Photo: 123RF

Belinda Slement from Surf Life Saving told Summer Times that they are seeing more inflatable beds, swans and other toys on beaches.

While the toys could be great fun if people were very close to shore, where the waves were breaking, they could get into trouble in an offshore breeze.

"The offshore wind, as soon as you get onto those things, can take you quite a way out," Ms Slement said.

"When you're taking those things to the beach, making sure you know what direction the wind is, and trying to stay as close to shore as possible within your own depth, because those things get blown pretty quickly out to sea."

There have been four preventable drownings over the holiday period.

A lot of the drownings that happen across the country were the result of bad decision-making, Ms Slement said.

That could include going swimming at an unpatrolled beach, not knowing what to look for in terms of rips, or swimming in conditions that were beyond someone's skill level.

Ms Slement said some of those very basic safety messages didn't appear to be getting through to some people.

"It doesn't matter how much you drum it in, unless people take those steps to make that right decision, it makes our jobs really difficult," she said.

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