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HomeLatest NewsStranded Castaways Rescued from Pacific Island using 'HELP' message on beach.

Stranded Castaways Rescued from Pacific Island using ‘HELP’ message on beach.


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Three mariners in their 40s were rescued after being stranded on a remote Pacific islet for days. The trio ventured out to go fishing near Pikelot atoll in a 20-foot open skiff with an outboard motor, but their motor stopped working, leaving them stranded for over a week. Surviving on coconuts and water from a well, the castaways spelled out “HELP” with palm fronds on the beach to signal their distress.

A relative of the mariners called rescue officials in Guam when they did not return from Pikelot, prompting a search effort. A U.S. Navy aircraft spotted the “HELP” sign on the beach, leading to the rescue operation. The mariners were found in good health, with access to food and water, and were eventually returned to Polowat atoll by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Oliver Henry.

The mariners’ ingenuity in creating a visible distress signal directly contributed to their rescue. This incident is not the first time stranded individuals on Pikelot have been saved after creating a sign on the beach, highlighting the importance of communication and creative problem-solving in emergency situations in remote locations.

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