We spoke to the Sussex students who sailed in a large, inflatable flamingo on Brighton beach

‘Big thank you to Karen for calling HMS Coastguards’

Earlier this week a group of Sussex students took a trip to the West Pier by sailing on a large inflatable pink flamingo.

It was first spotted on HM Coastguard Shoreham Facebook page and naturally, The Sussex Tab had to investigate further.

We reached out to the students who took a trip on the inflatable flamingo and here is what the legends had to say.

In case you are wondering how long a flamingo of this size takes to pump up, we can confirm it’s actually not as bad as you think. Tim exclusively told The Sussex Tab: “The flamingo took about an hour to pump up, we carried it over, lots of cheers.”

Photo credited to @timsupramanium 

While the events were portrayed as utter chaos by the onlooking Karen’s of the world, this is what we were told really happened. Tim said: “We put it in the water. I ran to give something to my housemate, and came back when they were a good 200m or so out to sea. They’d swam it out themselves, so I swam out to join.”

Tim tells us that the most chaotic event was losing his sunglasses to the sea: “Lost my sunglasses, but otherwise was fine. A mate swam out to say hi then went back. We were just chilling for ages, playing tunes, and chatting to people going past.” Sounds pretty chill to us.

You can see the video footage of the flamingo sailing trip on our Instagram here. 

Photo credited to @cassiee321

The group remained safe, attached to a buoy, at no risk of floating away: “We had a rope looped over a buoy, nowhere near the pier. Like, hundreds of metres away.”

After a tiring afternoon of sunbathing on a giant bird, the group began to head back: “We then realised we’d forgotten a lighter so we unhooked the rope and just floated back with the tide. If we ever changed direction we just gave it a lil kick to keep us on course. We never left the swimming area.”

When arriving back to shore, they found out than an onlooker had alerted the coastguard of their wild behaviour, Tim explained: “Had the very grumpy coastguards waiting for us, they did NOT respect social distancing. We were told that we didn’t have paddles or oars so it wasn’t safe, when we asked if we could come back with them they said no.

“The RNLI site states inflatables can be used near the shore as we were doing as well.”

Many comments on the Facebook post expressed confusion as to how the students were posing any danger, as photos display that they remained close to the shore and the sea was very calm.

Sunbathers on the beach watched the chaos unfold and cheered on the group: “After they left the whole beach was laughing at them and cheering us.”

Featured image courtesy of @timsupramaniam and @cassiee321