While rare, being rescued by the Coast Guard while out on the water or on a hike is not an unusual event in Kodiak. Unless you are being dragged out to sea on a giant inflatable pink flamingo.
It was a picturesque summer Saturday last weekend in Kodiak. Nation Sega, his sister, her roommate and dogs were enjoying the sunny skies and warm temperatures out in Monashka Bay, about 5 miles from the city of Kodiak.
It’s common for recreators to fish, swim, surf, and kayak in the bay. But Sega and his friends brought something different. A giant inflatable flamingo.
“We usually do it in a lake where we’re usually more cautious. But Saturday we were just having too much fun and not paying attention,” Sega said.
They weren’t worried at first, but by Saturday afternoon, the winds picked up and pulled the flamingo riders out across the bay.
“Then we were in the middle of nowhere at one point, but we just called 911, and were okay we don’t have any paddles or lifejackets. Can you send someone out here. We were hanging out waiting for someone to show up.”
As they waited for rescue, though, the flamingo drifted toward some offshore rocks until they finally ran aground.
About an hour later, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak came to their rescue, hoisting them up. The Alaska Troopers recovered the flamingo but still have it.
Sega asserted: “Oh yeah, we’re gonna get that back.”
Sega and his fellow flamingo riders plan to take the flamingo out again, but next time, they’ll be more prepared.
(KMXT’s Dylan Simard also contributed to this story.)