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
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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. It was on a deserted island in the remote Pacific.
The three men had been missing for three days. A wave had overtaken the skiff they were traveling in. The men were found waving their orange life jackets on the tiny Micronesian island of Fanadik. The island is 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 and 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. It is 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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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why was “Help” the perfect word?
Write your answers in the comments section below