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11th Apr 2016

Stranded castaways are rescued after spelling out ‘HELP’ with tree branches

Nooruddean Choudry

Holy crap it actually works!

You see plot-defying clichés in the movies all the time and more often than not you dismiss them as Hollywood b*llocks. However, it seems that this big screen trope in particular is a real life saver.

It may sound like pure make-believe, but three stranded castaways were rescued from a desert island by spelling ‘HELP’ on the ground with tree branches.

Remarkable images have emerged courtesy of the US Coast Guard of the message for aid writ large on the sand with the carefully placed foliage from the point of view of a rescuing navy plane.


Image via US Coast Guard

The rescue happened on one of the 600 islands that make up the Federated States of Micronesia (again, not made up). Perhaps to save their blushes, the rescued individuals have not been identified.

They became stranded when their small boat captized in choppy weather, and they swam to the shore of their sandy haven. Now they just needed to be found before they wasted away.


Image via US Coast Guard

Thankfully they were reported as missing in the area and a search party was launched. But it was only through the improvised plea for help that they were found and rescued.

Now excuse us, whilst we tie bed linen together and keep it near the bedroom window – you can never be too sure.


Image via US Coast Guard

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