Choose your channels

US Navy and Coast Guard Rescue Sailors Stranded on Remote Pacific Island

Friday, April 12, 2024 • Tamil Comments
Listen to article
--:-- / --:--
This is a beta feature and we would love to hear your feedback?
Send us your feedback to

A joint US Navy and Coast Guard mission on Tuesday rescued three sailors who had been stranded for more than a week on a small Pacific Ocean islet after they spelled out "HELP" with palm fronds on a beach of white sand.

The operation also led to an unexpected family reunion. The three had left on March 31 to fish in an area around the Pikelot Atoll, located in Micronesia. However, rough seas broke up their 20-foot skiff and also damaged the outboard motor.

They reached Pikelot, uninhabited, but their radio was dead, and they were not able to call for help. On the beach, they tried to write the word "help" with palm fronds and waited.

The men had been living off coconut meat and drinking from a small well they dug. They would rescue the men, whose search began on April 6 when a relative reported the atoll they had set off from, which was more than a hundred miles away.

Pikelot's remote location made the rescue very difficult. The place where the trio was found was spotted by a US Navy P-8A reconnaissance jet on the identification of the "HELP" sign on April 7. They dropped survival packs and a Coast Guard HC-130 provided communication.

When the Coast Guard cutter arrived at the scene on April 9, one of the rescuers, Petty Officer 2nd Class Eugene Halishlius, astounded the stranded men by speaking their language. Later, it turned out that he was one of their relatives.

This is not the first time that Pikelot has seen such a rescue. In 2020, a group of castaways called out "SOS" on the beach, which led to their rescue. The rescue highlights the skill and occasional mishaps of Micronesian travelers, as well as the serendipity of unexpected family connections in challenging situations.

Follow us on Google News and stay updated with the latest!