- A TikTok video titled "Mermaid went wrong" features a woman in a mermaid costume swimming in Cresta Mall's aquatic tank in Johannesburg before her tail gets caught
- Gabriela Green-Thompson, also known as Nokukhanya.the_mermaid, explained what happened in the viral video in response to a comment by @jax6804 speculating about her transformation underwater.
- While many viewers found humour in the clip, Gabriela highlighted the seriousness of the situation, shedding light on the incident in her video response
Gabriela Green-Thompson is living every little girl's dream - she is a professional mermaid. The stunner, who goes by Nokukhanya the Mermaid, mesmerises Johannesburg shoppers in Cresta Mall's aquatic tank.
However, some enchanted viewers got a glimpse into the dangerous side of Nokukhanya's job when she was faced with a life-threatening incident.
Johannesburg Cresta Mall mermaid's tail gets caught in reef
In a video that has gone viral on TikTok, Gabriela, aka @Nokukhanya.the_Mermaid_Sister, can swim to the surface to get air when her tail gets stuck in the reef. Green-Thompson is a professional and didn't let panic set in. Instead, she acted fast and removed her tail to escape drowning.
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The video was shared on TikTok by @fezilemagula and has since been viewed more than 17,5 million times and reposted by several news sites and countless netizens.
@fezilemagula captioned the post: "Mermaid gone wrong".
Take a look at the video below:
Gabriela Green-Thompson addresses viral Cresta Mall mermaid incident
Gabriela has since opened up about the incident in response to @jax6804's comment stating: "she transformed underwater".
"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 ♀️"
Take a look at Gabriela's video here:
Nokukhanya the Mermaid is a professional with proper training
We reached out to Gabriela to find out more about the incident and her majestic profession. Speaking to Briefly News, Gabriela said she has been a professional mermaid for over a year, and even though this has never happened before, they have safety drills.
"I've been a professional mermaid for just over a year now. I started with the Merfit classes at Merschool, and after that, I did my PADI Mermaid & Advanced Mermaid certification
"This has never happened before in the tank. We do constant safety drills in our training sessions until it becomes second nature."
Gabriela also has an impressive ability to hold her breath for longer than most people. She said:
"We train constantly on our breath holds. It is one of those skills, and if you don't use it, you lose it. At least, that's been my experience.
"My average is around 2 minutes; before my dive, I had reached a new Personal Best of 2min 28sec."
The viral video has allowed Gabriela to share with people the dangers of her job, but she would not change a thing:
"I love inspiring people to see the magic in life, both young and old. I also really love feeling like I'm a kid again. I get to be the goofy, childlike Mersona that plays rock paper scissors and makes faces at the audience.
"As for risks, Mermaiding is often described as a dangerous sport. But with the right training, and using the buddy system, the risks are reduced."
Over 23,000 people commented on video of Johannesburg mermaid nearly drowning
Over 23,000 people commented on @felizemagula's post, with thousands more reactions to reshared videos. While many feared for Gabriela's safety and applauded her quick thinking, most commenters had jokes.
"Mermaid wasn’t mermaiding ♀️"
Chubtart thought it could be a Disney remake:
"The realistic remake of the Little Mermaid."
ThunderCats Softball praised Nokukhanya the Mermaid's swift reaction:
"Safely first!! U went into survival mode and that’s all that matters glad u had quick thinking and u are safe and sound."
"Nooooooo I thought that was a real mermaid "
TikTok video of man narrowly escaping Cape Town ocean gets 8.3m views
Meanwhile, another video has gone viral showing a near-drowning incident in South Africa. Briefly News reported a man was filmed jumping into the ocean in Cape Town. The clip showed the man struggling to return to shore for several minutes as his friends watched helplessly.
The TikTok clip shows the swimmer using all his energy to escape the waves and currents. South Africans held their breath while watching the video, with many expressing concern for the man's safety.
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Source: Briefly News