A woman who performs as a mermaid at Cresta Mall’s aquatic tank in Johannesburg had a close call after nearly drowning while in action.
Mermaid Frantic After Nearly Drowning At Cresta Mall In Johannesburg
The woman, Nokukhanya the Mermaid, is a swim instructor who entertains the public at the CrestAquarium. She wears a realistic mermaid costume and swims gracefully in the large tank, creating a magical spectacle for the shoppers.
However, things went wrong recently when Nokukhanya’s tail got caught in the coral at the bottom of the tank. She had to release the air from her lungs to free herself, but that also meant she had less time to reach the surface. She quickly unzipped her tail and swam to the top, leaving the tail behind.
The video of the incident trended on TikTok and Instagram. In the video, Nokukhanya swam normally until she was stuck and got frantic. She hurriedly removed her tail before swimming to the surface to get air.
Many viewers were shocked and amused by the video, while some expressed concern for her safety.
@nokukhanya.the_mermaid Replying to @jax6804 Remember Water Has its Dangers Every Professional Mermaid has to know how to eject out of their tails in case of an emergency. It’s unfortunate that it spoilt the magic in the moment, but it proves to be an important teaching opportunity. Safe swimming this festive season everyone 💛🧜🏽♀️💛 #mermaid #watersaftey #watersafteyawareness #mermaids ♬ Sunny – TELL YOUR STORY music by Ikson™
Nokukhanya The Mermaid Speaks Out
Nokukhanya later explained what happened in a response video on her own TikTok account.
“As you can see, my tail got caught up in the coral and due to the air releasing out of my lungs, I was not able to retrieve it and therefore I did a quick release. And this is what we practice for. As a professional, we are trained to release our tails when in a dangerous situation.
“Unfortunately my tail got caught, and I was unable to detach. But I knew what to do in order to stay safe. Remember to stay safe around water this festive season. Lots of love & bubbles #mermaid #mermaids #watersafety”
Nokukhanya said she was unfortunate that the incident spoiled the magic in the moment, but it also proved to be an important teaching opportunity. She wished everyone safe swimming this festive season.
Mermaiding In South Africa
Nokukhanya is one of the many people who practice “mermaiding”, a water sport that requires diving with a monofin and a mermaid’s tail. The sport has gained popularity in South Africa, with several swimming academies offering courses and competitions. In May, SA held its first “Merlympics” where mermaids and mermen competed for medals and cash prizes.