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Going on a sailing trip, only to be stranded on an uninhabited island... while for some it might sound like a perfect getaway, in reality, it isn't that exciting. With no civilization in sight, three-stranded men managed to get the attention of the rescue team... with a traditional method.
The sun was shining bright above, as it often does in the Pacific Ocean. Ripples of waves rolled across the ocean, slowly and gently, as the warm summer breeze blew across the calm ocean. It was the 30th of July, 2020, when three sailors from Micronesia set sail on their voyage - but they never could've imagined what would happen.
It was a small 23-foot skiff boat - small and mighty, just the right boat for the job, as it was only a 26-mile chartered course. Blessed with mellow waves and calm weather, the men decided to sail around Micronesia, a small island nation in the Western Pacific Ocean. However, despite the fine weather, they ran into some issues.
For one reason or another, the boat steered off course - it could be due to poor planning, it could be the foul wind... nobody knows. However, it took them some time to realize the issue, and by the time they found out it's already too late. They already have no idea where they were - but that's not the worst of it all.
The wind blew on and on, as the warm summer breeze sent ripples of waves dancing up and down - but the sailors can do nothing about it, only to watch their boat drift along with the current, taking them wherever the wind and currents take them. However, after some time land is in sight... or is it?
As the boat drifts on and on, a glimpse of hope arises - they saw an island, and the current was taking them towards the island. But with no civilization in sight, stranded on a deserted island might as well be a death certificate in itself. However, it seemed to be their best chance of survival...
As the current brought them closer and closer towards the island, they finally felt the earth beneath their feet again. Here they are, on an island they have never seen before, with no other civilization in sight - was it their doomed fate? It's too early to think about that though, as it's men's instinct to survive.
As we mentioned at the beginning, the men set sail on the 30th of July. When they lost contact with the outside world and didn't return to their designated destination, they were declared missing on the 31st of July. A search and rescue mission was soon underway.
It can be difficult to find a missing boat in the vast ocean, among the numerous islands in the region. By that time the current could've taken them anywhere, if not the bottom of the ocean. Therefore, the local authorities requested help from some professionals...
Authorities in Guam initiated the search on Saturday, but to no avail at first. After all, it is difficult to locate a small group of men being stranded on an uninhabited island. However, the US authorities called for help from the HMAS Canberra, an Australian vessel on its way to Hawaii for naval exercises. Help is underway...
On Sunday afternoon, an aircraft from the mission was en route to the vessel after the final leg of the day’s patrol. Another day of patrol, another way of work proved to be futile... or so it seemed. It was then that they noticed something queer on one of the islands...
Upon closer inspection, they saw what it was - it was a gigantic SOS written on the beach! Lt. Col. Jason Palmeira-Yen, the pilot of the aircraft, said they were reaching the end of the planned search grid when he turned the plane to avoid a rain shower. It was then when they discovered the distress signal.
“That’s when we looked down and saw an island, so we decide to check it out and that’s when we saw SOS and a boat right next to it on the beach,” the pilot of the aircraft said. Yes, the stranded sailors used one of the most old-fashioned ways to grab the attention of the rescuers - a good old SOS distress signal, written on the beach. However, the stranded men were not rescued right away.
After the distress signal has been spotted, a helicopter from the HMAS Canberra landed on the island and delivered food and water to the stranded sailors. However, the helicopter did not carry them away to safety but instead flew away after leaving the supplies. What happened there?
After that, the U.S. Coast Guard dropped them a radio and told them the FSS Independence was on its way - and indeed it came. It took a little bit longer, but the FSS Independence arrived after some time and carried the stranded men back home, and soon they were reunited with their families.
Strange story, right? While stories of people stranded on an uninhabited island are not unheard of, who would have thought that an old fashioned SOS sign would still work? If you were stranded on an island like that, what would you do to survive? Enjoyed reading this article? Why not share it with your friends and family?