Rescuers helped bring an 8-year-old boy back to safety after he drifted nearly half a mile away from a North Carolina beach and into the ocean on a unicorn float.
The young boy, who was visiting Oak Island, North Carolina, from Ohio, was rescued by members of Oak Island Water Rescue, a volunteer emergency response team, after the wind suddenly pushed his float away from the shore.
According to a Facebook post on Tuesday describing the account, Oak Island Water Rescue indicated that the child was under adequate supervision.
“Witnesses said it happened in just a few seconds,” the post reads. “Sometimes things happen so quickly that being even a few feet away isn’t close enough to prevent an emergency. Just a few seconds is all it takes.”
Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Tony Young told WWAY TV that “the float was right there, in easy reach, and then just in the blink of an eye, it was beyond the breakers and too far for them to reach.”
Young implied that the child’s parents did the right thing by instructing their son to stay put.
“They immediately called 911 when they realized they couldn’t reach him, and they also told him to stay on the float,” Young told WWAY TV. A lot of the time, people get in trouble if they abandon ship and try to swim back.”
Oak Island Water Rescue had a boat in the water less than 15 minutes after the call came in, the Wilmington, N.C., news station reported.
Oak Island Fire Department and Oak Island Police Department Beach Patrol were also on the scene, and both the young boy and unicorn float made it back to the beach in good shape.
“The young man did an amazing job of staying calm and remaining on the float,” Oak Island Water Rescue said in a Facebook post. “When Boat 4491 reached him, he told the crew not to pop the unicorn float or they would get in trouble.”
In the Facebook post, the organization indicated that the wind on Monday was stronger than usual, but this wasn’t something they’d expect a vacationer to realize. Someone attempted to swim to the boy’s rescue, which the group flagged as a hazard which could have potentially resulted in an exhausted swimmer drowning.
Young says the Oak Island Water Rescue team volunteers because they care, WWAY TV reported.
“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,” Young told WWAY TV. “I’m sure I speak for the whole team when it comes to that.”
Yahoo Lifestyle reached out to Oak Island Water Rescue for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
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