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Surf Life Saving issues stern warning to 'bad boy' inflatable unicorns: You're not welcome here

Leave the blow-up flamingos and donuts floating in the pool this year - that's the message from Surf Life Saving New Zealand as the summer season approaches.

Volunteer rescuers pull a unicorn-shaped floatie from the water. Source: Facebook / Oak Island Water Rescue

If they could have it their way, Surf Life Saving officials say they would like to issue a trespass notice on all inflatable toys - but their tongue-in-cheek ban does bring with it a serious message.

“These bad boys are not welcome at any New Zealand beach,” says the charity’s national community education manager, Mick Kearney.

“They may look like fun, but when you’re on them the wind can easily blow you out to sea."

The suggestion from the organisation is to leave the inflatables at home. But those who do find themselves adrift should stay with it and raise a hand for help.

“A lot of people panic, throw their inflatable toy and try and swim back to shore, and often end up struggling to get back.

“Stay on it. Hold on to it – at least it will keep you afloat."