May 18, 2024

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Saving outcasts after writing the word “help” on palm leaves – DW – 04/12/2024

Saving outcasts after writing the word “help” on palm leaves – DW – 04/12/2024

Three men stranded on a Pacific island for a week have been rescued after a US Navy plane found their “Help” sign written on palm fronds.

“In a remarkable testament to their desire to find them, the sailors wrote the word 'Help' on the beach using palm fronds, a crucial factor in their discovery. This act of ingenuity was pivotal in directing the rescue effort directly to their location,” the sailors said. Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Lt. Chelsea Garcia.

In a statement, US Coast Guard He said the men and their equipment were rescued on Tuesday and taken to Pululuwat Atoll. They were all in good health. No information was shared regarding their nationalities or identities.

Where were they going?

The three were found on the deserted 32-acre Pikelot Island, part of the federal states of the United States. Micronesia415 miles (667 kilometers) southeast of Guam, about 100 miles from where they began their journey.

The three, all in their 40s and experienced sailors, began the journey on March 31 aboard a small 20-foot open boat with an outboard motor from Pulwat Atoll.

Their niece notified authorities after they failed to return for six days, after which the Coast Guard and Navy began a search in an area of ​​more than 78,000 square nautical miles.

Within a day, a Navy P-8 Poseidon plane spotted their “Help” sign. A photo taken by the Coast Guard showed that they had set up two temporary shelters near the sign.

In August 2020, three other sailors were rescued from the same island after they drowned “SOS” wrote On the sand of the beach and was spotted by Australian and American warplanes.

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tg/sms (AFP, Reuters)