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Swept Away: Mom warns of dangers posed by large inflatables

(WPBN/NBC News)  A Michigan mother is warning others about the danger of jumbo inflatables on open waters.

In July 2018, Courtney Kaiser-Sandler watched helplessly as her 6-year-old daughter, Sofia, drifted out a mile and a half onto Lake Michigan.

“The water was completely still, it was just clear, so the kids got in – Sophia got in along with a couple of her friends,” recalled Courtney Kaiser-Sandler.

She says the kids were just two or three feet from the shoreline when all of the sudden, there was panic.

“My friend yelled, ‘Sophia is floating on the raft!’ So we’re all trying to swim towards her and she just kept on going, just like a little sail, and no matter how close we got.. it was like she was still 10 feet away,” said Kaiser-Sandler.

Sofia was on an inflatable unicorn with nothing but her bathing suit and sunglasses, which the 6-year-old says kept her safe.

As Sofia drifted further out, the waves got bigger and the winds got stronger.

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