A Scots dad has joined forces with his crime-fighting boyhood superheroes to create a float to help teach children how to swim.

Entrepreneur Michael Harkins, from Livingston, and his company Turtle Pack have joined forces with Nickelodeon, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) and ViacomCBS Consumer Products to launch the new swimming aid.

Former swimming teacher, Michael, 28, developed the original Turtle Pack Swimming Aid, a turtle-shell shaped float which keeps the child’s arms free to learn proper swimming technique, whilst he was still at university.

Michael with the new turtle pack

While the new product will provide the in-pool support like the award-winning original, it will also give kids the chance to play dress-up as their favourite TMNT - Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello or Leonardo - while swimming.

The TMNT-themed Swim Float is now available to pre-order in the UK and America.

Michael, who became a first time dad last month, said Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was his favourite show when he was a child so the deal is a "dream come true".

He said: “Having become a parent for the first time earlier this year, this deal is a dream come true.

“I’ve loved TMNT since I was a wee boy and it really feels like we’ve come full circle with this new product.

“As a swimming teacher and now a new parent, I hope the connection with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will encourage more young children to enjoy spending time in the pool and having fun while learning a lifelong skill for both their future health and safety, especially as so many children have missed out on lessons due to the pandemic.”

Former swimming teacher, Michael developed the original Turtle Pack Swimming Aid, a turtle-shell shaped float which keeps the child’s arms free to learn proper swimming technique, whilst he was still at university

The deal will help Turtle Pack, which has already sold thousands of their original product, to make a splash on both sides of the Atlantic as it taps into the growing trend of nostalgia. Loved all over the world, the appeal of TMNT spans generations, with many of the first generation TMNT fans now parents.

Experts have warned against a ‘lost generation’ of swimmers due to over one million children missing out on swimming lessons throughout the past year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Designed to address the huge numbers of children in the UK unable to swim by the time they leave primary school, it’s hoped the new TMNT Turtle Pack design will encourage even more children into the pool.

Among Turtle Pack’s fans is Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, whose grandchildren learned to swim using the original Turtle Pack Swimming Aid.

Mark Kingston, Senior Vice President, International Licensing, ViacomCBS, said: “We loved the product development from the team at Turtle Pack.

“We are thrilled we are able to bring a product with real purpose to the market that can help kids get in the water, have fun and be active.”

The new Turtle Pack TMNT Swim Float is available to pre-order for £34.99 at www.turtlepack.com/tmnt and via high street retailers from October 3, for a limited period (RRP £39.99).