A woman in a mermaid costume had to quickly react after the tail of her attire got stuck in the coral of an aquatic tank she was initially swimming comfortably in. Per IOL, the near-drowning incident occurred inside a mall in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The video of the incident, which was shared on TikTok, has since gone viral and has been viewed more than 17 million times. The woman in the video was also identified as Gabriela Green-Thompson.
In the video captioned “Mermaid Gone Wrong”, Green-Thompson is seen swimming in the aquatic tank without any issues before she suddenly and quickly removes her tail and swims up to the surface.
A section of viewers made light of the incident, but Green-Thompson, who goes by the name @Nokukhanya.the_mermaid, revealed she actually got caught up in a serious situation when she responded to one of the comments.
“She transformed under water,” a user by the name @jax6804 commented. Green-Thompson responded by writing, “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.”
She also explained what happened: “As you can see, my tail got caught in the coral, and due to the air releasing out of my lungs, I could not retrieve it. And therefore, I did a quick release. And this is what we practice for.”
And though some users commended her for her swift reaction, Green-Thompson revealed she “panicked for a second but assessed the situation and did what needed to be done”.