Birthday Girl on Giant Flamingo Float Rescued by Coast Guard


Carefree young woman on pink flamingo float in swimming pool

Photo: Getty Images

It's a birthday celebration that Hollie Spence said she will never forget -- and she is thankful to be alive today.

Spence, along with her roommate, Lepa Sega, and Lepa's brother, Nation Sega, climbed onto a 10-foot inflatable pink flamingo float with their two dogs in a shallow area of White Sands beach in Kodiak.

Spence, who was celebrating her 30th birthday, said it was a nice, sunny day and the sky was clear, but it was windy. The group had previously floated on the giant flamingo raft last year and didn't have any issues, she sai

"If we get too far out, we notice right away and pull it back," she said.

Within an hour, the group came to a stop on top of some offshore rocks on the other side of the bay. Alaska State Troopers and US Coast Guard were called in to rescue them but conditions were deemed too treacherous for the boats, so a helicopter hoist was used to lift the stranded group to safety, according to a Facebook post by the Coast Guard.

"It was a complete freak accident and we had to be rescued," Spence said.