vletters made of palm leaves and good luck saved three shipwrecks in the Pacific. The US Navy and US Coast Guard were able to bring them home after more than a week, CNN reports.

On March 31, the men went fishing in the vicinity of Pikelot Atoll, part of the Federated States of Micronesia. However, their ship's outboard engine was damaged. They managed to escape to a small uninhabited island, but could not make contact with the outside world – their radio batteries were dead. So they put the letters “Help” in the sand using palm leaves.

A week later, the men's relatives raised the alarm after they failed to return to the island of Puluwati, about 200 kilometers away. After just one day, a US Navy jet discovered the men's written cry for help in Pikelot. The letters made from palm leaves were crucial in finding the men, the lieutenant in charge of the rescue mission said, according to CNN. The search area was therefore more than 250,000 square kilometers.

Casually related

The wanted people, who the Coast Guard said were all in their 40s, were apparently in relatively good shape: they had found coconuts and a fresh water spring on the island.

When the US Coast Guard finally arrived on the island on Tuesday, there was a surprise: Among the officers was a Micronesian. In a conversation with the outcasts, it turned out that she is related to men. One of the wanted is his third cousin, the other two are fourth cousins. “I couldn't believe I was part of the Coast Guard that saved him,” the officer told CNN. “It's a crazy world.”