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Some of my favorite memories from childhood include some kind of inflatable raft, float or just some type of inflatable game. I remember going down to Virginia Beach for vacation and getting to float over the waves – it was definitely a great time. When I returned home, the local beach had banned inflatables because of safety restrictions. I didn’t think it was fair and it certainly wasn’t as fun as it was on vacation. So what’s the hang up with inflatables in water?
It turns out that the vast majority of people don’t know anything about safety with inflatables in the water. An article from This Is Lincolnshire discusses some tips for how to protect yourself and your family from getting hurt while in the water with inflatables:
“Pete Barnard, sea safety officer at Skegness Lifeboat Station, said it was his greatest concern for tourists over the busy Easter and May Bank Holiday period. He said: “The main danger at Skegness is inflatables being blown out to sea. We have launched major campaigns with local shops to make sure they tell their customers to tie their inflatables to a tether.”
The major reason for tethering the inflatables is to ensure that no one falls into the water. According to the story, lifejackets should be worn with inflatables, because they can protect from cold water shock. One of the other concerns involves children who may be tethered in:
“When you get a kid on a little inflatable, even when they are tethered, kids could still fall in without a life jacket on.”
However unlikely it is, the article says that parents should leave any rescuing of errant children up to lifeguards in your area, even if you don’t live in Lincolnshire. You don’t want to risk your life as well – especially since the lifeguards in that area actually have a pretty good track record:
“A total of 67 people were rescued on the Lincolnshire coast last year and just under 250 people were aided by lifeguards.”