Navy rescues 3 castaways who wrote 'help' with palm fronds on deserted island

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Two men wave life jackets and look on as a U.S. Navy P-8A maritime surveillance aircraft discovers them on the uninhabited island of Fanadik. (U.S. Navy photo)

( - The Navy released stunning new photos Saturday that show the three castaways who were rescued from a deserted Pacific island after they used palm fronds to spell the word “help” in the sand.

The mariners were marooned for three days on the uninhabited of Fanadik. A Navy P-8A aircrew spotted the missing mariners Thursday waving lifejackets in front of their makeshift sign.

The men reported their 19-foot skiff was capsized by a large wave a few hours after their departure from the Micronesian island of Pulap, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

They spent the night swimming until they arrived at Fandadik, approximately four nautical miles from Pulap.