Three men were rescued from a remote desert island in adventure-book style on Thursday. The three sailors became marooned on the tiny, uninhabited island of Fanadik in the South Pacific Ocean after their boat capsized. The island is several hundred kilometres north of Papua New Guinea. Even though they lost their vessel at night, the men managed to swim for nearly three kilometres to reach land. They remained on the island for three days and believed they were modern-day castaways. They wrote the word 'HELP' in the sand using palm leaves so they might be spotted by a plane. Their prayers were answered when a U.S. Coast Guard plane spotted their message on the beach.
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A Coast Guard spokesman spoke about the rescue. He said: "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." Once the men were found, their families were notified and they were put on a boat back to the island of Pulap, from where they had initially set out to sea. The Coast Guard said none of the men was injured. The rescue is one of many the U.S. Coast Guard has undertaken recently. Officials say that in the last two weeks, they have coordinated seven search-and-rescue missions in the South Pacific, saving the lives of 15 people.