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Sea Squirts keep youngsters afloat ... and within reach


April 14, 2011

Sea Squirts are life vests for children that let them pretend to be various sea creatures, while also allowing adults to easily lift them from the water(Photos courtesy Opa Cove)

Sea Squirts are life vests for children that let them pretend to be various sea creatures, while also allowing adults to easily lift them from the water
(Photos courtesy Opa Cove)

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Children like sharks. They also tend to be pretty big fans of whales, along with just about anything else that swims in the ocean. Given this fact, Opa Cove's Sea Squirt is actually a pretty clever idea – it's a neoprene life vest for kids that doubles as a sea creature costume, complete with a flexible dorsal fin on the back. Not only might it cause the rug rats to actually want to wear a flotation device, but adults can pluck them out of harm's way simply by grabbing the vest's fin and neck opening.

The company also makes a Sea Squirt swim assist. It's similar to the life vest, although its buoyancy can be altered by removing one or more of its three flotation panels, which can be accessed through a Velcro opening in the back of the vest – the more proficient of a swimmer a child becomes, the more panels can be removed. Adults can help in the learning-to-swim process by holding children up and steering them along via the fin.

The Sea Squirt life vest and swim assist are available in three sizes, in designs that currently include clownfish, great white shark, pink dolphin, blue dolphin, and "Killa Whale." They can be purchased via Opa Cove's website, at a price of US$69.95 for the life vests, and $59.95 for the swim assists.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Actually the fin looks more like a Dolphin in the photo of the child.

Sharks are usually portrait as villains sadly. So making it look more like Flipper is probably a better move!

Stuart Halliday

Hahahaha!!! Is this a joke?????

Here son, put on this life jacket that makes you look exactly like something a shark would eat, and hop into the ocean. This has to be a joke, nobody could possibly be stupid enough to make this, right????


@ichidos3 I can\'t tell if you\'re trolling but I\'ll bite.

Are you saying that a baby swimming in shark-infested waters is not in danger until he puts this vest on? Then, sharks in the area hone in on the child because of the dorsal fin and color patterns? \"Hey Bob, check it out. Before, I wasn\'t really feeling the kid in the Sponge Bob trunks, but he\'s got this dorsal fin thing going and those orange stripes...makes me want a goldfish sandwich.\"

Wikipedia: \"Even considering only people who go to beaches, a person\'s chance of getting attacked by a shark is 1 in 11.5 million, and a person\'s chance of getting killed by a shark is less than 1 in 264.1 million. In the United States, the annual number of people who drown is 3,306, whereas the annual number of shark fatalities is 1.\"

It\'s probably the parent\'s responsibility to determine if sharks are an issue. Much more likely uses are: beaches too warm for sharks, lakes, pools, rivers, and other bodies of water. If my kids didn\'t want to wear floaties or some other life vest, I would jump at this. I think it\'s a cool idea.


My nephew\'s only 3 months old, but I\'m already sizing him up for one. Useful, safe AND too cute! Perfect!


@Durden - How many years did you spend flying in helicopters along beach lines as a rescue swimmer? I spent 6, and I assure you that any time you go to the beach there are sharks a lot closer than you think. And yes, color contrast has a huge impact on shark attack probability. Those sharks usually won't attack you that is correct, but it doesn't mean dressing up like their natural prey is a good idea. I go into the water all the time, but there are smart ways to do it and not so smart ways. Beaches too warm for sharks?? Really? This MAY be plausible for a great white, but not a bull shark or tiger shark, which are more likely to attack you in shallow water anyway (Where this product would be used).


Daddy, Daddy a shark. Hold on son, dad\'s gonna get his gun. Bang Bang... kid floats to surface, Daddy mutters a curse, fires up boat moter and yells to his child... \"Son, lets get the flock out of here!!!\'

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