Much like our unrealistic childhood concerns of quick sand, the dreaded boat crash on a deserted island has always been a constant “what if?” We never actually expect this to happen to us. Regardless, we all learned the SOS meant “Save Our Souls.” However it was a reality for three men from the federated states of Micronesia.
The marooned sailors were found today on the beach of Pikelot island.
A joint effort to respond to SOS
Rescuers from both Australia, and the US joined forces to respond to the SOS written in the sandy beach. The three mariners had set off on a 26 mile route from Pulawat to Pulap.
However, they ran out of fuel and drifted off course. Consequently, this western region of the Pacific Ocean has many uninhabited islands. North of Papua New Guinea, the island of Pulap was the intended destination. After they didn’t show up, a search mission ensued.
KC-135 pilot Lt. Col. Jason Palmeira- yen was at the end of his search pattern when he spotted their SOS, and called back up from Australian forces. The two forces worked together to aid in the retrieval of the men, assessing their health and identifying them as the missing mariners. Along doing so, the US Coast guard of Hawaii was able to drop a radio to the stranded men in order for them to regain contact with their Micronesian patrol.
The men were discovered in “good condition,” the Australian Defense Force stated.
Rescues during coronavirus
There were precautions taken, due to the fear surrounding the spread of Covid-19. As a result, the crews addressing the situation kept their distances while helping the three men. Even so, the stranded sailors were safely recovered. The patrol vessel was able to reach them around 8 p.m local time on Monday.
The compadre of the assisting crews from both the US and Australia was praised diligently by upper leadership. Capt. Terry Morrison, commander of the Canberra praises his crew’s professionalism, saying “ I am proud of the response… we fulfill our obligation to contribute to the safety of life at sea wherever we are in the world.”
In conclusion, never leave port without your trusty supply kit, or without brushing up on your SOS protocol.