The Cornwall limb of the Royal National Lifeboat Association (RNLI) swiftly dispatched a deliverance helicopter to save the little girl after she ran into difficulties in the choppy waters. A gang member bravely leapt into the sea to grab her, but was forced to leave the all-important lilo – purchase a few minutes earlier from a shop – behind.
The boat’s commanding lawman put the cost of the rescue at £7,000, given it had required the launch of the helicopter – so he was jolted and irritated to receive a bill for the cost of the inflatable, a request which was certainty short shrift.
Mike Carter, president of the Cornwall RNLI limb, told the Bristol Post: “A family visiting Porthleven purchased a lilo from a adjoining shop and went to the beach.
“There was an off-shore wind and the parents before you can say Jack Robinson experienced their child waving goodbye as the lilo went moreover and further out.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency issued a warning last week via its Facebook foot-boy
The statement said: “Inflatable unicorns, watermelons, dinosaurs, you name it, we’ve noted it.
“Keep your floating friends for the pool.
“They may pose grandly for Insta, but they can also pose a danger when up against sizeable stable currents and wind, sweeping you out to sea.
“Remember, supervise kids and call #999Coastguard if you besmirch an inflatable drifting at sea or yours gets blown away.”
RNLI teams monitor the busy Bristol Channel, with people frequently put at peril by fast and high tides in Weston-super-Mare and Brean.
Crews were shouted out five times in 48 hours recently, including one incident in which a people were found covered “head to toe” in mud after venturing out on to mudflats.
Away from Cornwall, the risks posed by people venturing into the often-rough seas around the UK were embellished at last when 18-year-old Haider Shamas and his sister Malika, from Luton in Bedfordshire, waned after getting into trouble in the sea near Clacton Pier.
Formerly getting into the sea, people are advised to check tide times and poorly conditions, and call 999 if they spot anyone in trouble and ask for the coastguard.