Castaways Rescued in Pacific Ocean after Spelling “HELP” with Palm Leaves
By angelamontana

Posted: April 16, 2024

In survival news outside of Montana…

According to a recent press release by the United States Coast Guard, three mariners were safely rescued on April 9th, 2024, after being stranded for over a week on Pikelot Atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam and the U.S. Navy, the mariners were located and transported back to safety.

The rescue mission was initiated after a distress call from a relative of the mariners on April 6th. Despite challenges, including weather conditions and availability of air assets, the mariners were located on Pikelot Atoll on April 7th, thanks in part to their ingenious “HELP” sign made from palm leaves. The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy successfully delivered survival packages to sustain the mariners until their rescue.

The mariners, in their 40s, had set out from Polowat Atoll on Easter Sunday in a small skiff. The U.S. Coast Guard emphasizes the importance of safety equipment like Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) for all mariners.

Quick thinking of spelling out the word “HELP” with palm leaves is basically what got these mariners rescued.  So, do not underestimate the power of a palm leaf message if you’re ever stranded on an island.

Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam

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