Blow up boats and toys are great fun in the swimming pool, but we do not recommend their use at the seaside. This is because they can easily be blown out to sea.

Liz Hanson, Senior Maritime Operations Officer for UK Coastguard says,

“We strongly recommend that blow up boats and toys are not used at the beach. In an offshore wind, when the wind blows from the land out to sea, they can quickly be swept out to sea. We’ve recently tasked numerous assets to investigate several reports of persons in distress on inflatables - of particular interest - a large inflatable Swan off Bembridge, Isle of Wight and a large inflatable Unicorn off of Hayling Island. Thankfully both were recovered with no persons in distress. If your inflatable does blow out to sea, please let us know by calling 02392 552100.”

The Coastguard would like to encourage everyone to enjoy our British coastline safely. Go to a lifeguarded beach if possible, stay within the flagged area and listen to the lifeguards’ advice. If people do find themselves being swept out to sea, our advice is to stay with the boat or toy and shout for help, waving arms if possible. Do not attempt to swim for shore if out of depth. Ideally make sure that someone ashore is keeping an eye on you. If you see anyone in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard