This isn’t the set of Castaway…courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Hawaii Pacific Facebook Page.
After a large wave reportedly swamped their skiff, these men swim nearly 2 miles at night. Upon arrival to the island they built the help sign and waited for rescue. The Coast Guard was notified Tuesday by the Chuuk search and rescue liaison that the mariners were overdue.
The Coast Guard enlisted the help of volunteer commercial vessels through the AMVER program to search the waters of the region and requested air support from the Navy. The men were located by a Navy P-8A aircrew Thursday in a search designed and coordinated by Coast Guard search and rescue controllers at Sector Guam. Once sighted, the information was relayed back to the family in Chuuk who launched another vessel to the island and mariners were recovered arriving safely to Pulap.
A local boat picked the men up and took them to a hospital. McKenzie said she didn’t have information on the men’s condition Saturday, but officials told the Washington Post they were not injured.
These partnerships are critical to successful search and rescue cases in remote parts of the Pacific. Ingenuity of these men to build their sign and the preparedness of having lifejackets also contributed to their safe rescue.
In the last two weeks, 15 people have been rescued in the Pacific with the help of 10 AMVER vessels and six aircrews, the U.S. Coast Guard said.