A woman swimming in a mermaid costume had a narrow escape from drowning after her tail became stuck at the bottom of a massive aquarium tank in a shopping mall, with the terrifying moment captured on video.
The woman, a professional mermaid from South Africa, had seconds to react with her quick thinking saving her from a potentially deadly and tragic situation.
The terrifying moment unfolded inside a shopping mall in Randburg, South Africa, on Saturday while the woman was swimming inside the tank in front of shoppers.
Still image from video shows a professional mermaid at a South African Mall free herself from her tail that got caught. (Zizwe Ndwandwe via Storyful)
In the video, captured by shopper Zizwe Ndwandwe, the woman can be seen at the bottom of the aquarium waving and then blowing a kiss at people who are outside the tank looking in.
The woman then makes a move to swim to the surface to catch her breath, but the tail of her costume becomes stuck in an artificial reef on the tank’s floor.
FILE - Still image from video shows a professional mermaid at a South African mall as her tail gets caught on something. (Zizwe Ndwandwe via Storyful)
Struggling for breath, she tries to swim free of the reef but soon realizes the tail has become stuck.
She can then be seen instantly whipping off the costume in order to break free and quickly swimming to the surface to gasp for air.
With no other worker in sight, it appears that the woman’s alertness to a potentially perilous situation saved her.
Still image shows a professional mermaid in a South African mall before she had to free herself from her tail to get air. (Zizwe Ndwandwe via Storyful)
Ndwandwe said it wasn’t the first time such an incident took place at the aquarium.
She told Storyful that a male professional mermaid also had his tail snagged in the tank, but another mermaid was luckily there to help set him free.
A mermaid is a mythical sea creature, often described as having the head and upper body of a woman and a fish's tail from the waist area down.
Mermaids have been made popular due to movies such as Disney’s "The Little Mermaid."
Storyful contributed to this report.