UK and Irish lifesaving organisations have issued a warning over the latest swimming trend to sweep the globe: monofins, or 'mermaid tails'.
The Journal reports that there are drowning fears following the death of a British teenager in Greece earlier this month, Harry Byatt, a water sports instructor who was found at a depth of 30 metres on the seabed wearing a monofin.
The craze was kickstarted by celebrities in America and Asia, with Instagram and other social media sites featuring photos of children and adults wearing the mermaid tail apparatus.
Currently gaining popularity in the UK, the trend has started to come to our shores, with CEO of Irish Water Safety (IWS) John Leech telling The Journal that the tails can have “lethal consequences”.
“They’re a gimmick, they’re a very unsafe gimmick which will cost more lives if they’re to be bought and used in our waters… or anybody’s waters,” he said.
“It’s so dangerous because it’s like having your two feet bound together. It’s like if somebody got a rope and tied your feet together."
“Your control in the water is very restricted [when you use a monofin] unless you’ve got a very strong stroke.”
Parents are warned by the IWS not to purchase these mermaid tails for their children to use whilst swimming or anywhere near water.