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

  • ravend-bag
    4/19/2016 - 07:25 p.m.

    Help was the perfect word because it was short and also it is probably the word you would be screaming if you were stranded on an island.

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    4/20/2016 - 12:42 p.m.

    This amazes me because I only thought things like this happen in movies. It isn't cool that these men were stranded but if they look on the bright side, they got to experience a real life movie scene without being harmed and I think that is awesome.

  • jacksonb-kut
    4/20/2016 - 07:11 p.m.

    Strange. Their families were probably glad to see them again. Well, that was a good article.

  • holdeno-3-bar
    4/22/2016 - 01:47 p.m.

    Help was the perfect word because it is easy to form with any materials. When talking about the rescue, the author said that "[a] plane spotted the word 'help' spelled out in palm fronds" (par. 2) People who need to be rescued have to form a signal that is easily readable and stands for something. "Help" can be formed with straight lines and is very clear as to what it means, so it is a perfect rescue word.
    I enjoyed this article because it showed how fictitious events could happen in real life.

  • briannec-ste
    4/25/2016 - 09:45 p.m.

    Thats horrible that their ship got wrecked and they ended up on an island, they could have died but because people saw the word help they survived.

  • ShawnaWeiser-Ste
    4/27/2016 - 02:12 p.m.

    I never believed that these things happened in real life. I just figured that if you were stranded on a deserted island, you were done for. I honestly would never have thought to spell out "help" using palm trees.

  • camerons-bea
    4/28/2016 - 09:26 p.m.

    Help was the perfect word because it is the shortest and the best emergency word. In every single situation help means that someone is in trouble.

  • andrewb1-wal
    4/29/2016 - 09:48 a.m.

    "HELP" was the perfect word for this situation. If they were to put anything else like "SOS" it may have been harder to see. It also is very easy to see that this was made by humans that were in need of help and rescuing. This also reminded me of the movie "Cast Away" with Tom Hanks, in the movie the main character gets stranded on an island in the Pacific ocean for several years. These to men were lucky to be stranded on the island for a few days instead of a few years!

  • Steve0620-yyca
    5/02/2016 - 10:06 p.m.

    In a movie scene, three men were missing for three days because their boat was sunken by a wave. They were on an island and wrote the word "Help" on the sand which was spotted by a plane that was flying over. The men also had life jackets and were rescued.
    I think that "Help" was the perfect word because it was short and described all that the three men on the island needed desperately.

  • maddyc-Orv
    5/05/2016 - 01:23 p.m.

    Help was the perfect word because the definition of help is "make it easier for (someone) to do something by offering one's services or resources," and thats exactly what they needed.

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