‘HELP’ Sign On Pacific Island Leads To Coast Guard Rescue Mission

The Coast Guard rescued a group of mariners on a small island in the Pacific Ocean. The three men were located as a result of the “HELP” sign they spelled out on the island using palm fronds. And they were in for an even bigger surprise when the Coast Guard showed up.

Source: Wikipedia

The sailors were planning on a trip to Pikelot Atoll, Micronesia. The island is extremely remote and located between the islands of the Philippines and Hawaii. Interestingly, in 2020 another group of mariners found themselves stuck on the same Micronesian island and were thankfully rescued.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The three men were caught in swells that caused damage to their boat motor. When the motor sustained damage they were able to find shelter on the small islet but unfortunately their radio had run out of battery before they could notify authorities that they needed help.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The men were stranded for an entire week before authorities found them. To survive, they ate coconuts and fortunately, they did have fresh water from a well on the 31-acre island.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Coast Guard began their search for the three men on April 6 of this year. They were tipped off that something was wrong by a relative of one of the men. The relative had reached out to the coast guard, explaining that they had not returned and the authorities began their search on Easter Sunday.

Source: Reddit

They started by sending a US Navy jet from an Air Base on Okinawa, Japan. The jet was able to locate the men by spotting the “HELP” sign they laid out on the beach with palm fronds.

Source: @TomoNewsUS/ YouTube

They dropped the men survival packs and notified the rescue center of the location of the lost mariners. The following day, another jet dropped a radio to them so they were able to communicate with the rescue authorities.

Source: @trot-trot/ Reddit

The men used the radio to notify the Coast Guard that they were doing okay, but were very eager to get back to Polowat. On April 9th, the rescuers arrived on the island and to the surprise of the stranded men, one of the rescuers was Micronesian and spoke their local language.

Source: TomoNewsUS/ YouTube

Eugene Halishlius was Petty Officer 2nd Class and happened to be one of the first officers who landed on the island for the rescue mission. The stranded men were shocked and impressed that he spoke their language.

Source: @trot-trot/ Reddit

Halishlius stated, “I could see on their faces, ‘Whoa! Who’s this guy pulling up that can speak our language?” In an even more bizarre twist of events, it turns out Halishlius is also related to the mariners!

Source: @trot-trot/ Reddit

He happened to be a distant cousin of the men he was rescuing. Thankfully, all men were returned home safely. Notably, Micronesians travel from island to island regularly, but it does require great skill and experience.