They passed more than a week trapped on a desert islanduntil the rescue plane sighted the message they had written with palm leaves on the sand: “HELP” (aid). It seems like something out of a movie, but it is the true story of three men who were rescued this past Tuesday on the uninhabited island of Pikelot, in the Pacific Ocean, about 667 kilometers southeast of Guam.

The odyssey of these three castawaysall of them men in their forties with experience in those waters, began on Easter Sunday, when they began the journey in a motor boat from Polowat Atoll, about 100 nautical miles east of where they were finally found, according to the Coast Guard of the United States.

Six days after his departure and seeing that they did not return, his niece alerted the authorities and began the search and rescue operation. Thus, after initially scanning an area of ​​more than 78,000 nautical miles, on Tuesday a navy planewarned the message from the air that the sailors had traced with palm leaves on the sand of the beach. “This act of ingenuity was fundamental to guide rescue efforts directly to their location,” declared the lieutenant in charge of the search mission.

The castaways, who were rescued in good condition, They had access to food and water while they were trapped on the uninhabited 32-acre island, which is part of the Federated States of Micronesia. Furthermore, they were able to recover their damaged boat, whose engine had become inoperativeaccording to the Coast Guard.

According to ‘The New York Times’, this It is not the first rescue of castaways on this island: Four years ago, three other missing sailors were found there, after writing an “SOS” in the sand.