Troubling Tail: Trendy swim accessory may be dangerous

(WSVN) - Mermaid tails are the hottest new swim accessory, but as fun as they are, they can be very dangerous. 7’s Robbin Simmons has all the details in our special report, “Troubling Tail.”

They make a big splash in Fort Lauderdale.

At B Ocean Resort, Marina the mermaid says everyone loves the mermaid show where trained swimmers entertain guests while they sit at the bar.

Marina Anderson, aquatic performer: “I think it’s almost a lost art.”

Now the mermaid craze is fanning out. Mermaid fins are popping up everywhere — even for young girls.

Marina Anderson: “This is something that is catching on with a lot of different people. It’s a new subculture”

But the tails can also catch swimmers off guard. Videos show how dangerous they can become.

Yazmin Acocella, owner of “Born 2 Swim” school: “God knows what could have happened had she not been there.”

Yazmin has been teaching children how to swim for 19 years. Mermaid fins aren’t even allowed in the pool at her Born 2 Swim academy.

Yazmin Acocella: “We don’t teach with mermaid fins. That’s an extracurricular activity.”

She says children need to be strong swimmers before any accessory is brought into the water.

Yazmin Acocella: “They cannot be depending on a wall for safety and then expect to swim with their legs in some sort of binding.”

The professional swimmers make it look easy, but it takes lots of work to swim with your legs and feet bound together.

Marina Anderson: “The monofin training in itself, I do about five days a week. We trained for this, and we are figure swimmers first and foremost.”

Both women say kids in particular might have a hard time grasping how quickly things could turn dangerous.

Yazmin Acocella: “They’re not thinking of the precautions or the dangers involved with the toy.”

Marina Anderson: “Get swimming lessons first. Make sure that they’re comfortable and are capable of swimming on their own first.”

Their mission is to encourage swim lessons and to keep children safe.

Yazmin Acocella: “It’s the one life skill that every human being needs to know.”

Some of the websites selling the mermaid tails do have warnings about the fins posted on their sites. If you want to leave the mermaid swimming to the pros, you can catch a show at the Wreck Bar at B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Born 2 Swim Academy

B Ocean Resort
1140 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 564-1000
www.bhotelsandresorts.com/b-ocean/

Mermaid Show Schedule

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