A woman celebrating her 30th birthday with two friends and two dogs was relaxing on a flamingo float as it drifted into the bay (right) and they had to be rescued (left) (Photos: US Coast Guard Alaska)
A woman decided to celebrate her 30th birthday by boarding a 10-foot inflatable flamingo with two friends and their two dogs in a shallow area of an Alaskan bay. But Hollie Spence’s big birthday didn’t turn out the way she planned.
It was a sunny day with clear skies on Saturday when Spence climbed the flamingo with his roommate Lepa Sega, Lepa Nation Sega’s brother. Spence, however, noted that it was also windy.
“If we go too far, we notice it right away and pull it back,” Spence said, according to CNN.
The group had floated on the giant flamingo last year without a problem.
This time, they packed extra clothes, blankets, snacks and soft drinks and were ready to relax on the float like it was a sofa. They did not take any paddles or life jackets.
Wind and current quickly pushed Spence and his crew out of the shallow area of White Sands Beach in Kodiak and into Monashka Bay.
“It was a little windy, but I never thought that in a million years we would be drugged so fast and so far away,” Spence said.
The Flamingo float drifted for about an hour before coming to rest on rocks across the bay.
Alaska State soldiers and the US Coast Guard were called in to help but were unable to board due to difficult conditions. Instead, they used a helicopter to airlift Spence and his group.
Spence said “it was a completely freak accident and we had to be rescued”.
Coast Guard station paramedics checked Spence and his friends for injuries, which luckily they didn’t. Spence suffered scratches from rocks, but no one had to be hospitalized.
Spence is now convinced not to celebrate her birthday on the flamingo float – or any occasion for that matter.
“It was the scariest day of my life,” Spence said. “I don’t think I’ll ever do something like this again. “
One of the rescuers joked that Spence would never forget his 30th birthday in his life.
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