Thursday 19 January 2017

Castaways have been rescued from a desert island after spelling out 'Help' on beach

Published 10/04/2016 | 07:53

Navy ensign John H. Knight. US Pacific Fleet Via Flickr
Navy ensign John H. Knight. US Pacific Fleet Via Flickr

This is the moment a US Navy plane rescued three men from a deserted beach after the castaways wrote "Help" in palm leaves on a beach.

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In a scene, straight out of a Hollywood movie, the stranded men wave their lifejackets in the air as the plane passes overhead.

The men’s families reported them missing on Tuesday after they failed to show up at the Micronesian island of Weno.

The New York Post reports that the men were traveling in a skiff from another Micronesian island when a wave overtook them.

Navy ensign John H. Knight. US Pacific Fleet Via Flickr
Navy ensign John H. Knight. US Pacific Fleet Via Flickr

US Coast Guard spokeswoman Melissa McKenzie said: “Fortunately for them, they were all wearing life jackets and were able to swim to the deserted island.”

The men were waving their orange life jackets when the Navy plane spotted them on the small island of Fanadik, several hundred miles north of Papua New Guinea. Two hours later, a small local boat picked them up and took them to a hospital.

McKenzie said she didn’t have updated information on the men’s condition Saturday.

Two bulk carriers searched a combined 17 hours for the men as part of AMVER, a U.S. Coast Guard voluntary search and rescue program. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and ask them to help.

Navy ensign John H. Knight. US Pacific Fleet Via Flickr
Navy ensign John H. Knight. US Pacific Fleet Via Flickr

In the last two weeks, 15 people have been rescued in the Pacific with the help of 10 AMVER vessels and six aircrews, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

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