A fun day at the beach during vacation turned into a terrifying ordeal for one family when it didn’t take long for a little boy to drift out too far into the ocean on his unicorn float.

The child was playing on a large big blow-up raft when he was swept away at Oak Island beach in North Carolina.

However, while it’s easy to assume there wasn’t any adult supervision or it took a while for the raft to get so far away, this wasn’t the case for the floating nightmare.

Posted by Oak Island Water Rescue on Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The Oak Island Water Rescue want beachgoers to know just how quickly this occurred and that it could really happen to anyone. Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Tony Young told WWAY following the incident:

“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.”

According to a Facebook post, the little boy was being supervised, and witnesses said he got pulled into the ocean by a strong wind gust in just a matter of a few seconds.

Yesterday OIWR rescued a child who was on a unicorn raft, hundreds of yards off the beach. We’d like to share some…

Posted by Oak Island Water Rescue on Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The rescue team explained:

How could this happen? Our normal, or most common, wind pattern is when the wind blows from the ocean towards shore. Winds like that keep rafts and other objects, close to shore.

The post continued:

Yesterday there was a strong wind blowing from the beach toward the ocean. That isn’t something we see here weekly and certainly not something a once a year beach vacationer would notice (or likely comprehend the hazards of).

The water rescue team warned that a strong wind gust can send “a raft on the move” in a matter of seconds.

Luckily, the boy stayed calmed and the rescue boat was able to bring him back to his mother.

Posted by Oak Island Water Rescue on Thursday, June 6, 2019

However, Young said he doesn’t want to discourage anyone from using the float but recommends people anchor them somehow or have a parent hold on to a line.

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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