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Coast Guard rescues 3 near Kodiak after they were swept out to sea

Published: Jun. 6, 2021 at 12:30 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 6:45 PM AKDT
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KODIAK, Alaska (KTUU) - Three people and their two dogs are safe and back on solid ground after being rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after their pink flamingo raft floated away from White Sands Beach into Monashka Bay near Kodiak this past weekend.

According to a Facebook post by the U.S. Coast Guard Alaska, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak rescued after being stranded Saturday.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak help save three people who were stranded with two dogs.
U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak help save three people who were stranded with two dogs.(U.S. Coast Guard Alaska)

Hollie Spence, Lepa Sega, and Nation Sega also had their two dogs, Ping-Ping and Dallas, on the raft when it happened.

“You know, it could have gone bad,” said Nation Sega. “It could have gone any way, but you know, now it’s something we can look back on, like look what happened.”

The group said they were just relaxing on the 10-foot tall pink flamingo for Spence’s 30th birthday, and when they looked up they realized they were not in the beach area anymore.

“We were around, about to our knees, and we all jumped on thinking we were going to chill and hang out,” Spence said. “And probably 30 seconds later or so, I look up, and I’m like, I can’t see the bottom of the ocean anymore.”

The group said it was a little windy that day, but that the flamingo’s long head acted as a sail and pushed them further away from the beach.

It was quite a sight to see for many in the area. Colin Dickey said he was at home when his girlfriend, Katie Gray, hollered for him to look outside.

“My first thought, was that it would be a whale breaching out in the water,” Dickey said. “I certainly didn’t expect to see a giant flamingo raft passing by our beach.”

After about an hour of floating, the ride ended when the large pink flamingo beached on some rocks. While the group said it was a little scary, during that hour they tried to stay calm and enjoy the ride.

“We have no paddles. I knew it was going to happen,” Nation said. “Once we got there, we’re like there is nothing you can do now. We just have to wait — and wait it out, be calm — and it was quite the ride, but we made it.”

Not only did they have no paddles, but they also didn’t have life vests and none of them knew how to swim. When the float ended, they used their phones to call for help. That’s when the U.S. Coast Guard arrived to lift everyone up to safety.

Due to the location, Alaska State Troopers and the guard decided to use a helicopter to hoist the group to safety, according to the post by the Coast Guard.

The three said they definitely plan to go out again, but next time they said they will be better prepared.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak help save three people who were stranded with two dogs.
U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak help save three people who were stranded with two dogs.(U.S. Coast Guard Alaska)

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