“It was the scariest day of my life,” said Holly Spence in an interview with CNN after her traumatic ordeal; an ordeal that involved two close friends, two dogs and one 10-foot pink flamingo.
It was on Spence’s 30th birthday that the trio decided to take the flamingo out for a float close to the shore of Alaska’s White Sands beach in Kodiak.
Spence, along with her roommate and her roommate’s brother, climbed onto the giant inflatable with their two dogs in a shallow area of the beach, anticipating a leisurely float—something that the trio had done in previous years without issue, she said.
“If we get too far out, we notice right away and pull it back,” she said. But on this particular day—a day of clear sky, sunshine and wind—things didn’t go exactly to plan.
Although the group had packed some extra clothes, blankets, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks for supplies, life jackets and paddles didn’t make it onto their packing list. So, when the wind picked up and they were swept further away from the shoreline than they anticipated, things got a little hairy.
“It was a little windy but I never thought in a million years we would be drug out so fast and so far,” she said. The wind and currents proved to be too much for the trio, and they soon found themselves solely at the mercy of the elements.
In just under an hour, the group came to a holt on some offshore rocks on the far side of the bay. Alaska State Troopers and US Coast Guard were called, however, the conditions were deemed too treacherous for the boats, so a helicopter hoist was used to rescue the group.
“It was a complete freak accident and we had to be rescued,” Spence said in an interview.
The trio had some scrapes and bumps from the rocks, but luckily no one was seriously injured. “It was the scariest day of my life,” Spence said. “I don’t think i’ll ever do something like this again.”