A human ‘mermaid’ says she is being forced into the sea as local swimming pools refuse to let her wear her wear tail in the water.
Becky Allen, 29, likes to don her tail and go for a swim, but says that every swimming pool nearby has refused to let her or her mermaid friends in the pool.
She said she is being put at risk as the only option left is go swim in the sea, and that it’s only a matter of time until something goes wrong.
Becky, from Plymouth, Devon, said the city was behind the times on the matter and is treating its mermaids worse than other cities.
Becky, also known as Plymouth Mayflower Mermaid, or May for short, said: “Myself and the other local mermaids are left to fend for ourselves in the ocean, which can be very dangerous due to tidal pulls and lack of safety supervisions.
“We do lower these risks ourselves by swimming in pods and having spotters on land but it isn’t always an option for us.
“The Saltash group has mentioned about adult lessons but some of us don’t need lessons we need practice space and we are being pushed out of Plymouth.
“Plymouth seems to be behind the rest of the country in respect to mermaiding. The lack of training space is hindering our ability to progress and take it professional.”
May said that businesses are “aggressive” and do not consider letting out facilities, despite having risk assessments and safety procedures.
She added: “We have offered to hire pools and lanes but we are met with nothing but aggression and a big fat no.
“As mermaiding becomes more popular there should and needs to be a fin friendly pool to prevent any risks, especially as there is now mermaid lessons for kids in Saltash.
“It’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong on our shores.”
Dressing as a mermaid has became more popular in recent years and is the practice of wearing and swimming in a costume mermaid tail.
May said that she believes the reason mermaids are unable to swim in most pools is due to misinformation.
She said: “A lot of it comes down to the bad media tails have been given.
“This varies in reasons, down to parents who don’t research or safe guard their kids while they use tails, leading to drowning incidents, and inexperienced swimmers thinking they can jump right in.
“I have been mermaid swimming since I was a child and have a life time of experience and recently invested in high quality tails.”
David Greenwood from local swimming pool the Plymouth Life Centre, said: “Across our centres in Plymouth we try to work with and accommodate any swimming groups that request poolspace.
“While swimming with a mermaid tail is not permitted in our public swim sessions due to safety regulations, there is an option to accommodate private bookings.
“In order to do this, the group must confirm that they have the appropriate insurance and accreditation to run the sessions independently.
“Hosting the group at the Life Centre is also subject to the availability of pool space.
“We would be happy to discuss the possibility of hosting the group based on the above