This photo provided by U.S. Navy released April 7, 2016 shows two men waving life jackets and looking on as a U.S. Navy P-8A maritime surveillance aircraft discovers them on the uninhabited island of Fanadik. (U.S. Navy/Ensign John Knight via AP)
Rescuers spot “Help” on the beach
April 15, 2016
The men rescued in this tale of three castaways were not named Tom Hanks, or Gilligan, or Robinson Crusoe. Though they might as well have been.
It was like a scene straight from Hollywood. A U.S. Navy plane spotted the word "help." It was spelled out in palm fronds on a beach. The beach was on a deserted island in the remote Pacific Ocean.
The three men had been missing for three days. A wave had overtaken the small boat they were traveling in. The men were found waving their orange life jackets. They were on the tiny Micronesian island of Fanadik. It is several hundred miles north of Papua New Guinea, officials said April 9.
The men's families reported them missing April 5. The men had failed to show up at the Micronesian island of Weno. They had been traveling there from their home island, Pulap.
The men had been wearing life jackets. They swam to the deserted island. This is according to U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Melissa McKenzie.
A boat picked the men up. They were taken to a hospital. Officials told The Washington Post newspaper the men were not injured.
Two cargo ships searched a combined 17 hours for the men as part of AMVER. It is a Coast Guard voluntary search and rescue program. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress. Those AMVER ships then can be asked to help.
In the last two weeks, 15 people have been rescued in the Pacific with the help of 10 AMVER vessels and six aircrews. Those figures are according to the Coast Guard.
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why was “Help” the perfect word?
Write your answers in the comments section below