Desert Island Castaways Rescued After Making 'Help' Sign With Palm Leaves

Three castaways who were stranded on a remote Micronesian island for more than a week were rescued by the US Coast Guard and Navy after making a “Help” sign out of palm leaves on a beach.

The three men in their 40s became stranded on Pikelot Atoll, in Yap State, on March 31, the Coast Guard said.

A joint operation between the Coast Guard and Navy combed 78,000 square nautical miles, the Coast Guard said, before the “pivotal moment” when they were spotted by an aircraft. “In a remarkable testament to their will to be found, the mariners spelled out ‘HELP’ on the beach using palm leaves, a crucial factor in their discovery,” Lt Chelsea Garcia, the search and rescue mission coordinator, said.

The mariners were recovered in good health by a US Coast Guard ship on April 9 after supplies and a radio were airdropped to them. Credit: US Coast Guard via Storyful

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