CHRISTMAS has come early for one turkey, after it was rescued from the Broadwater near Wavebreak Island on Friday.
Vet nurse Lily Papas, 20, was out boating with family from Melbourne when she spotted what she thought was a dead bird floating on the water.
As it approached, she realised it was barely alive and struggling to swim to safety.
Veterinarians from Gold Coast Vet Surgery believe it had fallen from a nearby houseboat, known to house turkeys and other animals.
Miss Papas, from Broadbeach, enlisted her cousins to help scoop the turkey on-board using an empty bin.
The saturated bird spent two hours wrapped in a beach towel, drying off and warming up before it was finally able to stand again.
"It turned into quite the rescue mission," Miss Papas said, before adding that it was pure luck she was out on the water that day.
"Nothing like that's ever happened to me before. In the job I work there's a lot of high stress situations, but I've never had to jump in on a rescue mission like that."
The domestic turkey was picked up by an RSPCA ambulance on the shore and transferred to a local pound.
It has since been returned to his owner.