Three men stranded on an uninhabited island in the Pacific ocean were rescued after spelling the word “HELP” using palm fronds.
Three men were spotted by a Navy surveillance aircraft on the tiny island of Fandadik, which is part of the Federated States of Micronesia.
The men had called for help three days earlier when their 19-foot skiff capsized a few hours after they departed from Pulap. According to the Coast Guard statement, the men “spent the night swimming” after their vessel capsized, and found their way to Fandadik, four nautical miles from Pulap.
Three days later, the men were spotted on the small island waving life jackets and standing next to the word “HELP” spelled with palm leaves. Rescuers dispatched a small boat which recovered the men, who were reported to have no injuries.
“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,” said Lt. William White, Sector Guam public affairs officer.
The original search lasted 17 hours, but the men were quickly found after the Navy aircrew joined the search and located the men about two hours later.
You may recall a viral – and fake – story back in 2014 which suggested that a woman was rescued from a deserted island after 7 years when her “SOS” sign was spotted by a someone who saw it on Google Earth. That story was posted by a fake news website and received heavy sharing on social media.