- The Washington Times
Saturday, April 9, 2016

Three castaways were rescued Thursday after a U.S. Navy aircraft spotted the word “help” spelled out with palm leaves on the beach of a remote Pacific Island, the Coast Guard said. 

The three men, who were not named, were reported missing by family on Monday after they missed a flight on the Micronesian island of Chuuk, U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Melissa McKenzie said, NBC reported.

“When they did not arrive for the flight, Coast Guard was notified,” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Ofc. Michael McCandless told NBC. “We began coordination efforts, using a combination of assets. It was determined a Navy P-8 aircraft out of Japan would assist.”

The three men were reportedly taking a skiff from between two Micronesian islands when something went wrong, and they wound up on the uninhabited island of Fanadik, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a Facebook post. 

Four Coast Guard ships searched the area where the skiff was last reported. A Navy P-8 aircraft from Misawa Air Force Base in Japan also joined the search from the air. 

The men were transported to a nearby island after rescuers spotted their “makeshift sign,” Ms. McKenzie said 

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