By Paulina Dedaj
Published June 12, 2019
An Ohio boy was rescued last week after officials say the unicorn float he was sitting on reportedly drifted "hundreds of yards" out to sea in just a few seconds.
Declan O’Connor, 8, was vacationing with his family in North Carolina on June 3 when a strong gust of wind pushed the float he was on into deep waters within seconds, the Oak Island Water Rescue said.
Officials said that after the unicorn float passed the waves, it “acted like a sail” and kept drifting farther away from the beach.
It had reached “hundreds of yards off the beach” before rescuers were able to save the young boy.
"As soon as we saw him moving away we went after him," Don O'Connor, Declan’s dad, told WTVD. "We weren't making ground, we were moving away faster but his mom called 911 right away."
Declan’s mother reportedly told the 911 dispatcher that her son wasn’t wearing a life jacket and didn’t know how to swim.
Oak Island Water Rescue officials said that someone attempted to swim out to the boy bring him back to shore but he returned back to the shore to no avail.
“That easily could have resulted in an exhausted swimmer drowning,” authorities said.
Rescue teams eventually reached Declan in a boat, at which time he told the crew “not to pop the unicorn float or they would get in trouble.”
Officials said it was not uncommon for police to get 911 calls regarding rafts being carried out to sea by strong wind gusts.