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US Coast Guard, Navy rescue 3 fishermen from deserted island after spelling ‘HELP’ with palms

Three men who went missing after going fishing off Micronesia’s Porowat Atoll on Tuesday were spotted by a U.S. Navy plane after a U.S. Navy plane spotted the men’s plea for “help” spelled out in palm fronds in the sand. Rescued by the US Coast Guard. .

The three men, all in their 40s, set out from Porowat Atoll on March 30 to fish near Paikelot Atoll, a 31-acre uninhabited island 20 feet from their departure point, the Coast Guard said in a press release. A skiff equipped with an outboard motor.

The three men, whose identities have not been disclosed, reportedly had experience navigating the waters, but their families were worried when they went missing.

Joint Rescue Sub-Center (JRSC) Guam began coordinating search and rescue operations after the trio was reported missing.

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The crew of a Hawaii-based HC-130J Hercules aircraft contacted three sailors stranded on Piquelot Atoll in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia, after dropping a radio on April 8. The crew was able to inform sailors about the USCGC Oliver. Henry (WPC 1140) arrived on her 9th April and would be able to carry them to Porowat Atoll. (US Coast Guard)

According to the Japan Coast Guard, the effort had some challenges due to aircraft availability and weather conditions, but ultimately Navy P-8 aircraft joined the search from Kadena Air Base, Japan. . USCG cutter Oliver Henry also joined the search.

The search area covered more than 78,000 square nautical miles.

On April 7, a P-8 Poseidon aircraft was able to locate the sailors at Paikelot Atoll and confirm their condition.

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US Coast Guard rescues fishermen

The crew of the USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) assists with the removal of the belongings of three stranded sailors on Paikelot Atoll, Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia, April 9. (US Coast Guard)

“As a striking sign of their will to be found, the sailors used palm fronds to spell out ‘Help’ on the beach. This was a key element in the discovery. This ingenuity brought rescue efforts to the scene. It was critical to direct guidance,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chelsea Garcia said. “The success of this operation affirms the effective coordination and partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, and regional partners.”

The aircraft’s crew deployed survival packages to the fishermen, while the Oliver Henry rerouted to the atoll to rescue the fishermen.

Another Coast Guard asset, an HC-130J Hercules aircraft based at Barbers Point Air Station in Hawaii, flew over the atoll and dropped radios to locate fishermen and establish communications. The Coast Guard announced.

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US Coast Guard Rescue

The crew of the USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) rescued three stranded sailors from Paikelot Atoll, Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia. (US Coast Guard)

After being contacted, the men said they were in good health, had access to food and water, and had recovered their damaged boat.

Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir of the Guam Coast Guard Micronesia District told Stars and Stripes that the men were mildly dehydrated but were able to survive with water from a well on the island. He also said the men were eating coconut meat until they received survival packages from the Navy.

Upon arrival, the Oliver Henry was able to retrieve the three people from Paikelot Atoll and return them to Porowat Atoll on Tuesday.

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The Coast Guard did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on this story.

“Whether it’s to protect precious resources or save lives, we’re more than just visitors. We’re connecting all these islands,” said Lt. Ray Cerrato, commanding officer of the cutter Oliver Henry. We are part of a vibrant maritime community.” . “This recent operation near Paikelot Atoll is a stark reminder of the kind of difference we can make. It’s about relationships and the lives we touch.”

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