North Carolina

8-year-old on unicorn-shaped float rescued at sea off Oak Island

Source: WWAY

OAK ISLAND, N.C. — A volunteer water rescue team had to save an 8-year-old boy who floated away from the North Carolina coast on a raft shaped like a unicorn.

The Ohio boy was at the beach on Oak Island on Monday when a gust of wind blew the raft nearly half a mile out to sea.

Source: WWAY

Volunteers with Oak Island Water Rescue said the unicorn float acted as a sail, which caused it to move too fast for the boy to stop.

“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,” said Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Tony Young.

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Young said the raft acted like a sail, and the small child couldn’t stop it.

Rescue crews said family members called 911 and the team used a raft to reach the boy and bring him back to shore.

Source: WWAY

“They immediately called 911 when they realized they couldn’t reach him, and they also told him to stay on the float,” Young said. A lot of the time, people get in trouble if they abandon ship and try to swim back.”

WWAY-TV reports other floats blew out to sea several times last year, but this was the first time a child was still on board.

“Handing that little kid back to his mom after we brought him in from way out in the ocean on that float was payment enough for all of us,” Young said.