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Coast Guard rescues 3 friends on a pink flamingo raft stranded in frigid Alaska bay

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Posted at 10:01 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 22:01:01-04

A birthday trip to the beach near Kodiak Island in Alaska took a terrifying turn as a woman, her two friends and two small dogs became stranded in a bright pink flamingo inflatable raft.

Hollie Spence was celebrating her 30th birthday last weekend, and with temperatures relatively warm in the 60s, she and two friends went to the beach with a 10-foot-long pink flamingo, she told the Washington Post.

As the group got situated in the brightly-colored raft, the winds picked up and swept the flamingo into frigid waters and toward the Gulf of Alaska.

For the next hour, the group stayed inside the flamingo raft as the wind and current carried them. Eventually, the inflatable raft snagged on a cluster of rocks and began to deflate, then it began to take on water.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter arrived shortly after and was able to airlift the friends and their dogs back to safety.

In a Facebook post showing images of the rescue, the Coast Guard said because of “the treacherous circumstances, a helicopter hoist was the best option to bring these folks and their animals back to shore, safe and sound!”

People nearby recorded the rescue, with the bright pink flamingo raft standing out against the rocks.

Spence thanked those who rescued her in a Facebook post of her own.

“Thank you every single one of you gentlemen & every kodiak resident that cared, reported & made sure we were ok! I will NEVER forget my 30th birthday!!”

Spence told the media outlet Alaska Landmine the flamingo was rescued, too.