Stranded Sailors Rescued by U.S. Military

April 12, 2024

“This act of ingenuity was pivotal in guiding rescue efforts directly to their location.”

Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Coast Guard Lt. Chelsea Garcia on the “HELP” spelled in palm fronds on the beach of a remote island by three stranded sailors.

Why It Matters: The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy located the men through the their “HELP” sign on the beach. The three men were marooned on a remote island in the South Pacific Ocean (“a speck just 2½ miles long and 1¾ miles wide in a search area the Coast Guard described as 78,800 square miles of the South Pacific“) for more than a week after their boat engine failed. They survived on coconut meat and water from a well on the island.

“Whether we’re out there protecting valuable resources or saving lives, we’re not just visitors — we’re members of this vibrant maritime community that connects all these islands,” Lt. Ray Cerrato, the Oliver Henry’s commander, said in the release. “This recent operation near Pikelot Atoll hits home the kind of difference we can make. It’s about more than just performing a duty; it’s about the real human connections we forge and the lives we touch.”

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Source – Stars and Stripes

by Jenna Lee,