Copying a scene from a movie in an emergency would probably get most people killed, but for one group of sailors it actually saved their lives.
The three unidentified castaways spent three days living like Tom Hanks on the remote, uninhabited Fanadik Island in the Pacific ocean, after their boat was capsized, Mashable reports.
However the lost men weren’t content to sit around doing nothing and, using their wits and ingenuity, they made a handmade sign saying ‘HELP’ out of some palm tree leaves.
The men were all rescued, on Thursday, when a U.S. navy spotted their huge improvised sign and the men standing on the beach desperately waving their life jackets.
The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed in a statement that a Japanese based Navy aircrew was responsible for the men’s rescue from the tiny island, which is one of 600 islands that are part of the Federated States of Micronesia.
After being rescued the men told officials their grueling story. They say they became marooned after their small boat got caught in large waves and capsized on April 4. When their boat flipped they were forced to swim to shore in the middle of the night.
The sailors were reported missing on Tuesday and a search of the area began immediately. The first search lasted for 17 hours, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, and when the Navy aircrew joined the search they found the crew after just two hours.
The men were picked up and taken by a small boat to the island of Pulap.
Sector Guam public affairs officer Lt. William White said in the statement:
Our combined efforts coupled with the willingness of many different resources to come together and help, led to the successful rescue of these three men in a very remote part of the Pacific.
It’s a good thing these guys remembered Tom Hank’s example in Cast Away, imagine if they’d copied the Lost survivors…