It was a terrifying scene in Florida on Monday.
Beachgoers were enjoying a little Memorial Day fun in the sun when a waterspout suddenly came ashore.
As it hit the sand the twisting wind became more of a dust devil, heading straight for a bounce house.
The bounce house flipped a few times and the three children inside are ejected. Then, suddenly, the bounce house was airborne, flying about 20 feet into the air.
All 3 kids were conscious, alert, and incredibly, okay, with only minor injuries.
Shadaja Bryant was inside the bounce house with her stepbrother, A.J. Both suffered broken arms.
“I was in a bounce house, and then the bounce house flew out in the air, then I fell in the dirt,” Shadaja said.
Water spouts are common off the Florida coast. Known as tornadoes over water, they’re columns of rotating air, that can quickly spin up in the calmest weather. Sometimes, they can be several hundred feet wide.
“It was fast, it was furious, and there was no way for us to prevent nor respond any differently than what we did,” said Sergeant Deanna Greenlaw, of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
But, the incident does raise safety concerns. Bounce house accidents are on the rise, with 11,000 reported injuries per year. A child goes to the emergency room every 45 minutes.
Video from last summer shows a bounce house bucking like a bronco with an 11-year-old stuck inside. And, in upstate New York, a gust of wind sent a bounce house this one airborne. Two children inside were seriously injured.
Karen Travers, reporting: “The bounce house industry says, if these structures are installed correctly, they’re safe, but incidents like this will certainly increase calls for greater protections.”