REAL LIFE

Lost at sea on a giant flamingo!

These holidaymakers were rescued from shark-infested waters
Chloe Musgrave

Chloe Musgrave, 18, Melbourne, Vic

Spending a day at the shops with my friends, I was enjoying the break from studying. After the exams, I planned to go to schoolies with my friends, Taylor, 18, Haylee, 17, and Katie, 17. Instead of going to the Gold Coast, we decided we’d visit Phillip Island for a week of sun, surf and sand.


‘These will be perfect for our holiday,’ Katie shouted, spotting a giant inflatable unicorn in one of the shops. We each picked an animal to take with us.

Three weeks later, we armed ourselves with our inflatables, which included two pink flamingos, and headed for the beach. There, we set up our towels before wading into the water. Laughing and chatting, we lazed about on the floaties without a care in the world.

‘…we lazed about on the floaties without a care in the world.’

It wasn’t until Haylee looked up that she realised we were in trouble. ‘Guys, look how far we’ve drifted out,’ she panicked.

That’s when we realised we’d been blown into the middle of the water. With our phones in hand, we couldn’t even paddle back to shore!

‘What are we going to do?’ Taylor fretted. Then she began to have a panic attack. ‘I can’t breathe!’ she cried.

‘I can’t breathe!’ she cried.

I tried my best to calm her down. ‘It’s going to be okay, ‘I soothed. ‘We’ll work it out.’

Just then, we noticed a boat heading in our direction. ‘Help!’ Taylor yelled, waving her arms.

When the boat approached, the fishermen aboard asked whether we were okay. ‘Get your feet out of the water,’ one instructed. ‘There’s sharks around here.’

Throwing a rope out to Taylor first, we made our way onto the boat.

Chloe Musgrave
We took a selfie with our rescuers (Credit: Chloe Musgrave)

All safe, it dawned on me how lucky we had been. ‘Thank you so much,’ I said as we were dropped back at the jetty.


Although things could have ended in disaster, we certainly won’t be forgetting this holiday in a hurry.

As published in Issue 1 of that’s life! magazine – January 5, 2017.

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