One group of friends learned a lesson the hard way after the giant inflatable pink flamingo they were in became stuck amid some large, sharp rocks off the Alaska coast last weekend.
Three people and their two dogs — which they brought along for the supposedly relaxing birthday celebration near Kodiak, Alaska — had been floating on the inflatable flamingo in calmer waters, but strong winds picked up and swept the giant pink bird onto offshore rocks.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Alaska arrived quickly on the scene in a helicopter and plucked the wayward floaters from the sea. The incident took place in Monashka Bay, a body of water that opens into the Gulf of Alaska, a famously stormy locale.
In a video posted to social media, the flamingo is seen trapped in the rocks while a rescue helicopter flies overhead. While the group doesn’t seem that far from shore, the combination of rocks and volatile waters left the trio with few options but to wait.
Ultimately, based on the conditions, the USGC opted to fly in the MH-60 Jayhawk and hoist the group, plus the two dogs, safely to shore.
“Thank you to every single one of you gentlemen & every kodiak resident that cared, reported & made sure we were ok! I will NEVER forget my 30th birthday!!” a person named Hollie Spence wrote on Facebook in reply to the USGC Alaska post.
Another member of the group had a rather lighthearted viewpoint of the experience.
“We usually do it in a lake, where we’re usually more cautious,” said Nation Sega, one of the trio, to Alaska Public Media. “But we were just having too much fun and not paying attention.”
At one point, according to Sega, fierce winds picked up and pulled the flamingo out across the bay.
“Then we were in the middle of nowhere at one point, but we just called 911, and were like, ‘OK, we don’t have any paddles or lifejackets. Can you send someone out here?’ We were hanging out waiting for someone to show up,” he said.
The inflatable flamingo was recovered with only minor damage, but it has yet to be returned to its owner.
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