Navy, Coast Guard Rescue Stranded Fishermen From Deserted Island

( – On April 7, A US Navy aircraft rescued three men from Micronesia on the 31-acre deserted island of Pikelot Atoll after noticing a plea for “help” they wrote on the sand using fonds of a palm tree. In a press release, the US Coast Guard said that the three fishermen, who were all in their 40s, went missing as they left the Micronesian city of Polowat Atoll on March 11 to fish near Pikelot, which is 160 kilometers away.

The Coast Guard added that the three fishermen, who weren’t identified, have plenty of experience navigating Micronesian waters, using a 20-foot-long small boat that was powered by an outboard motor. The agency also explained that while the operation was difficult because of adverse weather conditions and aircraft availability, a Navy P-8 plane and USCG Cutter Oliver Henry conducted the search from Japan’s Kadena Air Force.

According to some reports, while there have been some occasions in which the fishermen have also been out for days at a time, family members contacted authorities a couple of days after the fishermen left, as they felt something was wrong. When they were officially reported missing, Guam’s Joint Rescue Sub-Center coordinated the whole operation, which spanned over 267,000 square kilometers.

In a press conference, Coast Guard Lieutenant Chelsea Garcia said that the fishermen showed a heroic will to survive as they not only resisted the harsh conditions but also played a crucial role in their rescue with the “HELP” message. She added that the operation was successful thanks to the partnership and coordination between partners in the area, along with the US Navy and the US Coast Guard. Garcia also told reporters that it was the Oliver Henry that rescued the three fishermen, while the P-8 sent emergency packages from the air.

When they communicated with their families, the fishermen told them that they were in good shape and had managed to recover the small boat despite the damage it had suffered.

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