NZ charity wants to ban the ‘bad boys’ of the beach
9 December 2019 at 5:03 pm
Surf Life Saving New Zealand wants to ban inflatable toys from the beach
New Zealanders are putting their lives at risk by bringing inflatable toys to the beach, Surf Life Saving New Zealand warns.
The charity’s national community education manager, Dr Mick Kearney, said people should think twice before buying inflatable toys as Christmas presents, considering where they might end up.
He said inflatable toys were meant for the pool and caused trouble at the beach.
“These bad boys are not welcome at any New Zealand beach,” Kearney said.
“They may look like fun, but when you’re on them the wind can easily blow you out to sea.”
Kearney said anyone who does get blown out to sea on an inflatable toy should stay with the item and raise their hand for help.
“A lot of people panic, throw their inflatable toy and try and swim back to shore, and often end up struggling to get back,” he said.
“Stay on it. Hold on to it – at least it will keep you afloat.
“But we don’t want it on the beach to start with.”
Raising awareness about the issue is part of a broader Surf Life Saving New Zealand campaign highlighting safety messaging around surfing, body boarding and stand-up paddle boarding.
NZ isn’t the only country concerned about inflatable toys at the beach.
In the UK town of Skegness, which is known for its strong coastal winds, local stores agreed to stop selling inflatable toys after reports of people being swept out to sea on them.
Meanwhile in Ukraine, a man was rescued in 2017 after he fell asleep on an inflatable toy and drifted out from the beach. He was found three days later in the Black Sea.