Stranded men rescued after writing 'Help' in sand on uninhabited Pacific island

Three sailors found on the island of Fanadik after three days

Updated: 
Shipwrecked Sailors Are Rescued Off A Pacific Island After Spelling The Word 'Help'

Three sailors who were stranded on a remote Pacific island after their boat was hit by swelling waves were rescued by the U.S. Navy when they spelled the word 'Help' on a beach using palm fronds.

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The men had set off on a three-hour sailing trip from Pulap on Monday and were heading to Weno Island, but when their boat capsized they were forced to spend a night swimming to the island of Fanadik.

According to the BBC, a U.S. Navy plane was dispatched when they were reported missing. The sailors were spotted waving brightly-coloured lifejackets next to the 'Help' sign three days after they became stranded.

help sign in sand

After their rescue on Thursday, Lt William White said: "Our combined efforts coupled with the willingness of many different resources to come together and help, led to the successful rescue of these three men in a very remote part of the Pacific."

Spokesperson for the Coast Guard, Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooer, told CNN: "There are not a lot of resources in that region. It's very small and very remote."

Earlier this year, two men from Papua New Guinea made it home after surviving nearly six weeks lost at sea.

Rickson Masol, 32, and Chris Pagan, 49, set sail with three others from their home village of Fissoa heading to nearby Simberi Island.

But their boat experienced engine failure, the group began to drift and they lost all communication with land.

They were adrift in the Pacific for 41 days until the two men washed ashore at Satawan Atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia, 600 miles from where they had departed.

The two men say they survived by eating coconuts that washed past their boat.

World's most remote islands

World's most remote islands