Castaways spell help with palm branches

Three men who were marooned for three days on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean were rescued Thursday after they aligned palm branches to spell out the word “Help.”

As reported by The Mirror, the men were stranded Monday after what was supposed to be a 3-hour sailing trip near the island of Chuuk in Micronesia. They were determined missing after they did not arrive for a flight.


“They had the word ‘help’ spelled out and were waving their lifejackets.” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Michael McCandless said.

The remote island is part of the Federated States of Micronesia, which is comprised of more than 600 islands. The Coast Guard carries out search and rescue operations for the region due to a lack of local capacity, Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooer, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard, told CNN.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Japan coordinated efforts to locate the men, who were eventually located and taken by boat to a nearby island.