Just like in the movies: people saved themselves from a desert island by writing the word “save” in the sand.

Over the entire existence of cinema, many films have been made about survival on a desert island. The premise of such pictures is extremely simple: a person becomes a victim of a shipwreck, finds himself on an island far from civilization and tries to survive by all available means. Usually such films end with the rescuers finding the poor fellow after seeing the word “SOS” made from improvised means in the sand from a helicopter. Recently, near New Guinea and Australia, exactly the same story happened. Three fishermen's boat broke down and they found themselves on a small island without a single living person. What saved them was that they thought of making the word “Save” from palm branches.

Just like in the movies: people saved themselves from a desert island by putting the word “save” on the sand. The inscription “Save” laid out on a desert island. Source: IFL Science. Photo.

The inscription “Save” posted on a desert island. Source: IFL Science

People on a Desert Island

The amazing story of the rescue of sailors from a desert island was told by the authors of the scientific publication IFL Science. In early April 2024, the Guam Coast Guard received a report that three people were missing. A few days before the call, a group of sailors set sail from Puluwat Island in Micronesia, a group of small islands in the central and western Pacific Ocean. They were supposed to catch fish and return, but their relatives quickly realized that trouble had happened and sounded the alarm.

People on a desert island. The location of Micronesia on the map. Source: geography.name. Photo.

Location of Micronesia on the map. Source: geography.name

The three sailors were well oriented in local waters and fully understood where they needed to sail. The only problem was that the engine of their small boat had broken down to such an extent that they could not repair it. They managed to swim to Pikelot Island, where people only occasionally sail to hunt turtles. To avoid starvation, men ate coconuts and used well water for drinking. From the materials available on the island, they were able to build a small shelter.

People on a desert island. Pikelot Island is rarely visited by people, there is even a Catholic chapel there. Source: YouTube. Photo.

Pikelot Island is occasionally visited by people, there is even a Catholic chapel there. Source: YouTube

They also came up with the great idea of ​​making the word “Save” out of palm branches in the sand. This is almost always done by heroes from adventure movies so that they can be noticed by helicopters and airplanes flying at high altitude. They probably understood that their relatives were already worried about them and probably reported them missing to rescuers. But considering that there are thousands of small islands around them that are extremely similar to each other, the search could take whole weeks.

Read also:5 cases when people survived a fatal dangerous injuries

Survival in the Pacific Ocean

Thanks to a huge inscription in the sand, the men were rescued just three days after they went missing. According to Lt. Chelsea Garcia, the resourcefulness of the sailors played a major role in their rescue. Apparently, the men were completely healthy – as mentioned above, they had coconuts and access to drinking water.

Survival in the Pacific Ocean. People have already disappeared on Pikelot Island before. Source: turizm.pibig.info. Photo.

People have disappeared on Pikelot Island before. Source: turizm.pibig.info

If you compare the Earth with other planets, it is very small. However, it is very easy to get lost on it – every year thousands of people go missing around the world. Perhaps the heroes of this article also faced a terrible fate, but they were lucky. And there are a lot of such amazing cases of salvation.

In 2023, the Internet was actively discussing the story of Tim Shaddock, an Australian who in April took his dog and set sail from Mexico to French Polynesia. At first everything was going great, but then his catamaran was caught in a storm, which broke all the electronics on his boat. Without it, the man could not navigate the space and got lost. He swam in the Pacific Ocean for three months, collecting rainwater for drinking and eating raw fish. The traveler took cover from the scorching sun under a canopy – without it, he would have quickly received fatal burns.

Survival in the Pacific Ocean. Tim Shaddock, survivor in the Pacific Ocean. Source: people.com. Photo.

Tim Shaddock, Pacific Ocean survivor. Source: people.com

Thanks to his resourcefulness, Tim Shaddock survived in the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean for three whole months. Then he was accidentally discovered by a helicopter accompanying a fishing boat. During his stay on the broken boat, the man lost a lot of weight, but in general his health remained satisfactory. All this time he looked after his dog, thanks to which she also survived.

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If you like the story of Robinson Crusoe or the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks, be sure to read our other articles with amazing survival stories. For example, in 2023, we talked about how men swam across the ocean in two weeks without food or water. We also have material about the survival of a “frozen” woman and a selection of stories about people who survived falling from a plane and a skyscraper. Happy reading!