'It was something out of fairy tale': Scuba diver rescued by group of 'mermaids' off Santa Catalina Island

Pablo Avila was scuba diving off California’s Santa Catalina Island last weekend when he suddenly lost consciousness in the water

'It was something out of fairy tale': Scuba diver rescued by group of 'mermaids' off Santa Catalina Island
Scuba divers rescuing their friend found themselves surrounded by a group of women in mermaid costumes off Santa Catalina Island (Fox 11 video screengrab)
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CATALINA ISLAND, CALIFORNIA:  A scuba diver explains his once-in-a-lifetime Disney movie-like experience, the time when he was rescued by a group of mermaids and the ordeal was caught on camera. Pablo Avila was scuba diving off California’s Santa Catalina Island last weekend when he suddenly lost consciousness in the water.

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Pablo was on a trip with his friends who soon noticed he had lost consciousness and jumped right into the water to rescue to him. All of a sudden Pablo's friends started to notice that they were surrounded by big fishtails that appeared to be mermaids, reported New York Post.

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Pablo Avila (center) was diving when he passed out (Fox 11 video screengrab)
Pablo Avila (center) was diving when he passed out (Fox 11 video screengrab)

“We’re pulling him, and we’re getting a little winded and a little tired out and then out of nowhere, a bunch of mermaids show up,” Pablo's friend, Javier Claramunt, recalled to Fox 11. Turns out the woman appearing to have mermaid tails were actually a group of women training for the advanced Professional Association of Diving Instructors Advanced Mermaid Program when they realized the diver was in danger. 

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The woman who was training rescue protocols at the time, swiftly swam over to the divers and helped Pablo take his gear off while giving him mouth-to-mouth, and took him back to the stair entry at Casino Point where paramedics were waiting. Pablo was taken to the island’s decompression chamber, where he regained consciousness after several hours of decompression. Explaining the incident scuba diver Javier Claramunt said, "It was something out of a fairy tale, being saved by a mermaid." "We had seen the mermaids before starting our dive," Javier added. "And were thinking how cute they were. Little did we know how well-trained they really are."

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Elaina Thomas said she noticed the diver was in distress and jumped into action (Fox 11 video screengrab)
Elaina Thomas said she noticed the diver struggling and coughing foam (Fox 11 video screengrab)

According to mermaid-in-training Elaina Thomas, the group was practicing the protocol for rescuing another mermaid when they noticed the man struggling and coughing foam, which she noted was a sign of an air embolism and put into action what her training taught her, according to New York Post. Elaina Marie Garcia, who is also a highly experienced scuba diver and instructor, explains that the sport has become so popular, swimming in a costume with a mermaid tail - that large groups have formed. Elaina further adds that it is so much more than wearing seashell bras and holding your breath. “It’s not just blowing bubbles,” Elaina said, of being a mermaid. “It’s hard work, but it’s worth it!” 

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