We were dispatched to the 1400 block of East Beach Drive, along with Oak Island Police Department, Oak Island Fire Department, and Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol for a report of several juveniles that had put an inflatable swimming pool in the water and were now over 300′ offshore. One had jumped into the water to try to swim back, then returned to the pool. It then flipped over and all subjects were in the water. We responded with our surf-launch boat and another truck, drone, and substantial number of team members. En-route, we heard that some kayakers were heading out to attempt to rescue the kids, and later that the children were now holding on to the kayaks. When we arrived on scene, the pool and children were safely back on the beach and speaking with the police.
This brought back memories from last year and the Unicorn float rescue. There really is no other way to say this: These floats have no business being in the ocean, especially an inflatable swimming pool not designed for flotation. These kids were lucky there were many people on the beach that witnessed their distress, as well as folks that happened to have kayaks and were willing to risk their own safety to help these teenagers. While we would rather have those on the beach simply monitor the situation and update the 911 operator with information, we do appreciate their life-saving efforts.