Castaways rescued from Pacific island after writing ‘HELP’ on seaside | EUROtoday

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Three castaways who had been stranded on a distant Pacific islet for days had been rescued this week after spelling out “HELP” with palm fronds on the seaside, the U.S. Coast Guard mentioned.

The trio of males, all mariners of their 40s, ventured out to go fishing close to Pikelot atoll in a 20-foot open skiff with an outboard motor, the Coast Guard mentioned, noting that the three had “experience in navigating these waters.”

But their motor was broken and stopped working, leaving the castaways caught for greater than per week on the tiny uninhabited island, surviving on coconuts and water from a effectively.

The search started after a relative known as rescue officers in Guam final weekend and mentioned the three had not returned from Pikelot, which is a part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a Pacific nation made up of many islands scattered within the ocean between the Philippines and Hawaii.

A U.S. Navy plane dispatched from an air base in Japan noticed the assistance signal drawn with palm fronds on the seaside, narrowing an preliminary search space that stretched over 78,000 sq. nautical miles, in response to a Coast Guard assertion. It didn’t launch the names of the mariners.

That plane dropped “survival packages” for the trio, and a crew from an air station in Hawaii then dropped a radio to contact the boys, who “were in good health” with some entry to meals and water and had recovered their skiff, the Coast Guard mentioned.

“The skiff was damaged when they approached the island due to the swells surging on the island and surrounding shoal,” Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia, Sector Guam, instructed the Stars and Stripes newspaper Thursday. The battery on their radio had died, she mentioned.

They ate meat from coconuts, and “water was available through a well on the island,” Muir instructed the paper. She mentioned they’d sufficient meals to outlive, “but not for much longer.”

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Oliver Henry was diverted for the rescue mission, which ended Tuesday because the ship returned the three males to Polowat, one other atoll about 100 miles away.

Their “act of ingenuity was pivotal in guiding rescue efforts directly to their location” Lt. Chelsea Garcia, the search and rescue mission coordinator on the day the three had been situated, mentioned within the assertion.

It was not the primary time that writing an indication on the seaside labored for castaways stranded on Pikelot.

In 2020, three different males who went lacking within the Micronesia archipelago reportedly washed up there after they drifted off track and their boat ran out of gasoline.

Those three wrote a giant “SOS” signal within the sand that was additionally noticed from the sky, permitting Coast Guard and Australian authorities to search out them on the island.