A terrifying clip has revealed the life-threatening moment a professional mermaid realised her costume was stuck on a piece of coral during a performance.
Gabriela Green-Thompson Kay was imitating the mythical creature at Randburg shopping center in South Africa- blowing kisses and waving to children.
Moments later, the show took a horrifying twist when Gabriella’s tail managed to wrap its way around some coral, stopping her from accessing oxygen.
In desperate need of air, she quickly deployed the ‘tail evacuation’ technique, according to The Straits Times.
The petrified audience watched by until Gabriella finally managed to utilise the method to wriggle her way out of the costume and swim to the surface for air.
Gabriela Green-Thompson Kay (pictured) was performing as a mermaid at Randburg Shopping Center in South Africa, but moments later, the sweet performance took a terrifying twist
Gabriella shared a clip of the incident to her TikTok, which also surfaced on Storyful Viral.
In the clip, Gabriella explained the ‘unfortunate’ event that could have led to her drowning.
The swimmer, who has a professional diving accreditation, warned others of the dangers that swimming can involve.
She wrote: ‘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 concluded.
A professional mermaid called Insyirah Moidu, 28, spoke to The Straits Times about the incident, and revealed that Gabriella utilised a technique called tail evacuation to escape.
The method involves rapidly getting out of the tail and fins.
The mermaid’s tail wrapped its way around a piece of coral- restricting her movement and oxygen access
Gabriella panicked before assessing the situation and judging the best route to escape and access air
The mermaid also added that the material of the tail can have an impact on the swimmer’s safety, with fabric and silicone being the two most popular options.
Insyirah said: ‘I do not perform with silicone tails for safety reasons because there is no quick release system for that.
‘Silicone tails are [like] a second skin, so it takes some time to get out of,’ she said.
Hundreds took to the comment section of Gabriella’s video to share their thought on the occurrence- and many were impressed by her speedy reaction.
One said: ‘I love how you quickly handled the situation.’
Social media users took to the comment section of Gabriella’s video- and many were impressed with her skills
A second added: ‘Wow I didn’t once notice the tail getting caught! I just thought you were under for too long. That’s so scary though!’
A third wrote: ‘You are a BEAUTIFUL performer & GORGEOUS Mermaid! You executed quick release brilliantly – so glad to hear you’re safe & sound! Lots of meister.’
A fourth said: ‘So glad you’re safe!! You looked amazing!!’
Another added: ‘No need to explain! Well done !!We are just happy that you are safe. Keep up the good work.’