Those movie clichés work sometimes! Three men swam to shore when a large wave capsized their 19-foot skiff on Monday night. Swimming through two miles of pitch back dark in the water before coming ashore on the tiny Pacific Island of Fanadik, several hundred miles north of Papua New Guinea.
Three days after their boat capsized, the men were rescued by a U.S. Navy plane that had spotted the H-E-L-P sign they made on the shore. The crew aboard a Navy plane spotted the men waving life jackets, standing next to piles of palm leaves arranged to spell out four capital letters:
Once found, their families were notified and they were put on a small local boat back to Pulap, from where they initially set out to sea.
The Coast Guard was first notified that they were missing just before noon on Tuesday, after which it immediately issued an urgent broadcast seeking assistance from the Navy and vessels in the area of the skiff’s last known location. Two cargo ships helped by conducting a combined 17-hour search. The Navy plane that ultimately spotted the men set off Thursday at 6 AM, taking only about two hours to find them. Lt. William White, a Coast Guard spokesman, 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.”
No injuries were reported and as far as we know, their names were Gilligan, the Skipper or the Professor either.
(via Washington Post)