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Inside the bizarre battle to rescue five mates ‘stranded’ on a giant pink flamingo – after their $700 inflatable started drifting towards sharp rocks
- Five friends went 1km out to sea on a giant pink flamingo
- Jet ski rescues needed when inflatable went close to rocks
- Mates undeterred and plan to take flamingo to sea again
Surf lifesavers have to be ready for any emergency and that even includes wayward giant pink flamingos.
Five mates who took the five-metre wide inflatable a kilometre out to sea on Australia Day have spoken about their light-hearted rescue after they had to be towed back to Stanwell Park Beach, between Sydney and Wollongong on NSW’s south coast.
The unusual craft, which cost the group $700, had started drifting towards sharp rocks when lifesavers realised the five mates needed to be rescued – whether they wanted to or not.
Flamingo owners, Blake and Kyle Lisk, and friends Mitch Loveday, Tye Barnes and Jayden Raval admitted they had gone out a bit further than initially planned.
Five men were brought back to shore on Australia Day after their giant pink flamingo inflatable appeared to be heading into trouble
Blake, who lives in Wollongong, said the group used swimming fins to propel the flamingo out past the breaking waves but then the shark buoy became an irresistibly inviting a mooring point.
‘We kicked out with the westerly wind and we got one kilometre out with the shark buoy,’ Blake, 24, told the Daily Telegraph.
‘We hung out there for a bit but didn’t see any sharks unfortunately.’
The flamingo, which was dubbed HMAS Flamingo, was an impulse purchase made by Blake and Kyle when they were ‘bored out of our brain’ during Covid lockdowns.
‘It was pretty expensive – about $700 – so Kyle and I went halves but we never took it out of the box until the public holiday after Mitch called and asked if we still had the flamingo,’ Blake said.
The five-metre wide and three-metre high floatable proved a steady platform once out at sea for the friends to enjoy a beer, cheese and biscuits.
After an attempt to tow the flamingo didn’t work, the men were given a ride back to the beach on jet skis
They were so comfortable on the flamingo they waved away an offer of a tow back to shore by a police boat.
However, as the wind picked up, the flamingo started to head south at a rate which made the lifesavers nervous the big bird was headed for the rocks.
After an initial unsuccessful attempt to tow the flamingo and those onboard back to shore, the five men were ferried to the sand by jet skis before the inflatable was brought in.
‘If you were at the beach yesterday morning, you would have caught a glimpse of this now infamous giant flamingo heading south quicker than we believe they anticipated,’ the Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Surf Life Saving Club posted on Facebook.
The ‘infamous’ pink flamingo sits safe and sound back on the beach after the Australia Day frolic
Blake, however, insisted matters were in hand.
‘The original (and executed) plan was to float out from Stanwell Park to the Shark Buoy, then to have the NE wind pick up and push us to Coalcliff (beach),’ he told the lifesavers.
Coalcliff surf lifesaver Rob Deakin said the rescue was ‘preventative’ on a busy day when 71 other rescues were made.
Blake called the voyage an ‘excellent exhibition’ and said the group was considering buying an even bigger inflatable for another ‘adventure’.
Blake Lisk (pictured) said the flamingo jaunt went according to plan despite the five men being rescued
Source: DailyMail UK