Rescued Mariners Reunite in an Unbelievable Twist!
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Rescued Mariners Reunite in an Unbelievable Twist!

The stranded men, whose names haven’t been shared, got creative to attract attention. They used palm fronds to spell out “HELP” on the sandy beach. This clever SOS caught the eye of a US Navy jet flying overhead on April 7.

Lieutenant Chelsea Garcia, leading the search-and-rescue effort, called this palm-frond sign crucial in pinpointing their location. With an area as vast as 103,000 square miles to search, finding them wouldn’t have been easy without it.

Once located, the Navy jet dropped survival kits to the mariners and alerted the rescue center. The Coast Guard then dropped a radio to them the next day. When the Coast Guard cutter Oliver Henry reached the island on April 9, something unexpected happened.

One of the rescuers, Petty Officer 2nd Class Eugene Halishlius, shocked the stranded men by speaking their language. Even more surprising? He turned out to be their cousin!

“It’s a crazy world,” Halishlius said. “I actually found out I’m related to them!” It was an incredible twist to an already remarkable rescue mission.

This isn’t the first time such a dramatic rescue has happened on Pikelot Atoll. In 2020, another group of castaways was saved after spelling out “SOS” on the beach. These incidents show both the dangers of the open sea and the incredible bonds of family and community that can lead to miraculous reunions.

As Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir of the US Coast Guard Forces Micronesia explains, accidents can happen even to skilled sailors. But sometimes, they lead to unexpected moments of joy and connection.

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