After three days of being stranded on a remote uninhabited island in the Pacific, three men were rescued by the U.S. Navy. The men, who were traveling in a Micronesian skiff, were washed ashore after the skiff was hit by a wave.
Weather reported that the men’s families reported them missing after they failed to reach their destination, the Micronesian island of Weno. U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Melissa McKenzie told the Associated Press that the men were lucky.
“Fortunately for them, they were all wearing life jackets and were able to swim to the deserted island.”
The Coast Guard received notification that the men were missing, and immediately contacted the U.S. Navy requesting help to locate the men. The Navy sent a P-8 Madfox 807 aircrew from Misawa Air Base in Japan to conduct search patterns in order to locate the missing men. The missing men were located on Fanadik Island, where they were found holding life jackets. They had spelled the word “Help” in the sand using palm fronds.
US Navy rescues sailors from remote Pacific island. I thought a little good news was needed https://t.co/ZA6qkK1VBq
— George Gowland (@roscoe0ne) April 10, 2016
It took approximately two hours for the Navy crew to find the men once the aircraft took off. The information was then relayed back to search and rescue Watchstanders on Guam, where the information was shared with the families. The men were then picked up and transferred to a small boat and taken to Pulap.
Such an operation requires a lot of coordination, and includes not just the U.S. Navy and the Coast Guard, but the Watchstanders at the Sector Guam Command Center. Their job is to issue marine information broadcasts and coordinate the assistance of aircraft and ships involved in the rescue.
AMVER vessels Brilliant Jupiter and Ten Yu Maru were also diverted to help in the operation, and they spent a combined 17 hours searching 178 miles of coastline. Lieutenant William White, the Sector Guam public affairs officer, said that coordination was key to a successful rescue.
“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.”
— The Virginian-Pilot (@PilotNews) April 10, 2016
Fox News reported that the U.S. Navy was also searching for a missing sailor off the coast of North Carolina. The Navy and Coast Guard launched the search after a sailor aboard the USS Carter Hall was reported missing. The USS Carter Hall was participating in a training mission when the sailor was reported missing.
The female third class petty officer was discovered missing around 4:20 p.m. on Saturday. A pair of boots, along with a note, was discovered on the deck near the rear of the ship. The Navy hasn’t released any information yet as to what information was obtained from the note.
— pmatons (@pmatons) April 10, 2016
Navy Lieutenant Michael Hatfield said that the Navy was doing everything it could to locate the missing sailor.
“Were doing everything we can to find and rescue the sailor and our thoughts and prayers are with our shipmates and their families.”
The USS Carter Hall was conducting training operations for the U.S. Navy in support of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group Composite Training Unit Exercise of the coast of Cape Hatteras. The name of the sailor won’t be released until 24 hours after the notification of next of kin. The USS Carter Hall is ported at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek—Fort Story in Virginia Beach when not service.
[Image via U.S. Navy]