Castaways Rescued After Spelling 'Help' in Palm Fronds on Remote Island Beach

A group of castaways spent days on an isolated Pacific island before a ploy plucked straight from Gilligan's Island paid off.

A Navy plane in search of the three men was alerted to their presence on the tiny, uninhabited Micronesian island of Fanadik when the word 'HELP' was seen written in what turned out to be palm fronds on the beach.


Three men managed to get saved from a remote Pacific beach by spelling 'HELP' in palm fronds.

Two of the three men are also seen waving life jackets in aerial photos released by the Navy.

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Three days earlier, the the men's 19-foot skiff capsized after setting out to sea from Pulap, another island in the Federated States of Micronesia, the US Navy Pacific Fleet wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

Rescuers from multiple agencies joined a search effort that began in their most recently known location.

The men reported their vessel was capsized by a large wave on April 4.

A US Navy crew in a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft had set off from Misawa, Japan in search of the men when they spotted the makeshift sign on Thursday.

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"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," Lt. William White, Sector Guam public affairs officer, told

The men spent a night in the water before clamoring onto Fandadick Island in Micronesia.

The men reported their vessel was capsized by a large wave a few hours after their departure on April 4, and spent the night swimming until they arrived at Fandadik Island, approximately four nautical miles from Pulap.

A small boat from Pulap recovered the men from the island with no reported injuries.

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