Rescuers spot “Help” on the beach
Rescuers spot “Help” on the beach 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
Lexile: 1130L

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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.
In a scene straight from Hollywood, a U.S. Navy plane spotted the word "help" spelled out in palm fronds on a beach on a deserted island in the remote Pacific.
The three men, missing for three days after a wave overtook the skiff they were traveling in, were found waving their orange life jackets on the tiny Micronesian island of Fanadik, several hundred miles north of Papua New Guinea, officials said April 9.
The men's families reported them missing April 5 after they failed to show up at the Micronesian island of Weno, where they were traveling from their home island, Pulap.
"Fortunately for them, they were all wearing life jackets and were able to swim to the deserted island," U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Melissa McKenzie said.
A boat picked the men up and took them to a hospital. Officials told The Washington Post the men were not injured.
Two cargo ships searched a combined 17 hours for the men as part of AMVER, a Coast Guard voluntary search and rescue program. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and ask them 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, the Coast Guard said.

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Why was “Help” the perfect word?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • sebastianc-bea
    4/18/2016 - 01:44 p.m.

    help was the perfect word because s.o.s is a good word but not many people know what s.o.s means. So help is the only solution it is very recognizable and a lot is said when saying help.

  • hunterkim-
    4/19/2016 - 10:07 a.m.

    it was cool how they got all of those sticks and made a help logo so the the rescu could find them.

  • nickp1-lam
    4/19/2016 - 10:37 a.m.

    For how long they were lost for they must have had to get food and water. How did they survive if they didn't get any water?

  • audreyx-lam
    4/19/2016 - 10:42 a.m.

    I think "Help" was the perfect word because the men needed help to get back home. Also, it is easy to identify from a plane, and it very understandable.

  • raphaelr-lam
    4/19/2016 - 10:42 a.m.

    I think that this story is worth making a movie about because they have made movies about similar situations but unlike some of them, this one is real. It was very clever to come up with the idea of writing help into the sand.

  • zoieh-lam
    4/19/2016 - 10:46 a.m.

    Everyone knows when they hear or see the word help it means someone needs saving or they need you to help them in some way. Its a simple word and it shows that they needed someone to save them and get them off the island.

  • serenao-lam
    4/19/2016 - 10:46 a.m.

    This article was very interesting, fifteen people being saved in the last two weeks! The article says that the men were missing for three days yet went missing on the fifth and came back the ninth? They should use more facts and direct information.

  • tayces-lam
    4/19/2016 - 10:54 a.m.

    It must have been amazing to see the plane in the air after being scared and isolated on the island.

  • laurah-lam
    4/19/2016 - 02:26 p.m.

    Usually, when you see the word help, you know the person needs saving. "Help," presented that the people were in danger and needed to be assisted.

  • drewh-lam
    4/19/2016 - 02:34 p.m.

    I think that help is a perfect word because you don't see help spelled out on beach and the word help means something is wrong and someone needs help especially when it is on an island spelled out.

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