Three Men Stranded On Deserted Island Spell Out ‘Help’ To Attract U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Planes

Three men stranded on a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean have now been rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, Hawaii Pacific division. The fishermen spelled out the word “Help” in the sand using palm fronds to attract the attention of search and rescue planes.

The boat the three men were fishing in capsized after being hit hard by an enormous wave, Us Weekly reports. They were able to swim to the shore of the remote Micronesia island of Fanadik in the South Pacific. The small island is located about 26 miles from Honolulu and about 100 miles north of Papua New Guinea. The men had also started a fire and waved their bright orange life vests to increase their chances of being spotted by air or by sea.

The three stranded men swam about two miles at night to reach the shore of Fanadik. The island is one of a multitude of islands which comprise the Federated States of Micronesia. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified about the missing fishermen on April 5.

Little is yet known about how the men survived on the island for three days before the Navy P-8 aircrew saw the word “Help” written in the sand.

Here’s an excerpt from the U.S. Coast Guard released about the rescue.

“This isn’t the set of Castaway… Through efforts by the Coast Guard and the Navy’s U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. 7th Fleet, Joint Region Marianas these three men were found on the remote Pacific Island of Fanadik.”

During an interview with CNN, U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooer said not a lot of rescues occur in the Fanadik Island region. Mooer also noted that the island is also “very small and very remote.” During the month of March, the Coast Guard has conducted seven different rescue missions and reportedly saved 15 lives.

The U.S. Coast Guard routinely enlists the help of civilian boats and coordinates with the Navy to cover the vast amount of territory in the remote region off of Hawaii. Approximately 10 civilian vessels volunteered to help search for the three missing fishermen.

Once the three men stranded on the deserted island had been rescued on Thursday, their families were notified they were alive and well. None of the men experienced any injuries due to the shipwreck and three days spent on Fanadik, the Washington Post reports.

“Our combined efforts coupled with the willingness of many different resources to come together and help, led to the successful rescue of these three men in a very remote part of the Pacific,” U.S. Coast Guard spokesman, Lt. William White, said in a public statement about the rescue.

U.S. Coast Guard planes began their search around 6 a.m. last Thursday and spotted the word “HELP” spelled out in the sand with palm fronds about two hours later. After their rescue, the fishermen were able to board a locally-owned small boat and hopped back into the water to head home to Pulap. The identities of the men have not yet been released to the public, and they have not yet made a public statement about the ordeal.

Do you think you could survive if you were stranded on a deserted island for three days?

[Image by Shutterstock]

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