5-Year-Old Girls Carried Nearly a Half-Mile From Shore on Inflatable Swan

Two girls were playing on an inflatable swan when the rope slipped and it was swept away from the shore Saturday.

A day at the beach turned into a terrifying ordeal for two 5-year-old girls and their families after the inflatable swan they were playing on was swept away from the shore in Minehead, England, on Saturday. 

The girls were playing on the float, which was tethered with a rope, when the rope slipped and it began floating away, the Minehead Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) said in a statement

The wind quickly pushed the float away. A rescue volunteer who had swum out to it was unable to grab it, so lifeboats were called to the scene to help. 

The swan was almost half a mile off shore in the Bristol Channel when rescuers managed to grab it and rescue the girls. They were scared but safe and reunited with their families on shore. 

It isn't the first time that a fun day with a giant inflatable turned into a floating nightmare.

Last fall, Tara Myers and her son, Brennan, were swept out to sea in Florida on an inflatable swan. 

"The current was so strong, it just kept pushing us out," Myers told Inside Edition.

Beachgoers called 911 to help save the pair, but the Florida mom wanted others to know how dangerous the toys can be when used on open water. 

"It can happen to anyone that quickly," she said. 

In August 2018, four women were rescued from a Minnesota lake when their inflatable unicorn got trapped in the weeds, in an incident that was more embarrassing than terrifying. A helpful officer spotted them and threw them a line. 

But while adults and kids alike love snapping photos on these giant inflatables, water safety experts say they're best kept out of open waters and instead saved for the pool.