US Coast Guard Saves Lives of Trio That Survived 33 Days on Deserted Island


The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three Cuban nationals from Anguilla Cay, Bahamas, on Tuesday, according to a news release from the USCG.

After an HC-144 Ocean Sentry out of USCG Air Station Miami spotted the trio of one woman and two men waving a makeshift flag, the crew dropped food, water and a radio to establish communications while an MH-60 Seahawk deployed from Air Station Clearwater for a search-and-rescue mission, the news release said.

“The helicopter crew hoisted the two men and one woman and transferred them to Lower Keys Medical Center with no reported injuries,” the bulletin said.

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The Coast Guard documented parts of the story on its Twitter page.

The group was then transported to Lower Keys Medical Center in Stock Island, Florida, and later transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

The trio reportedly told the Coast Guard crew they had survived for 33 days on a diet consisting of conch shells, coconuts and dead rats.

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Helicopter Aircraft Commander Mike Allert told WPLG-TV on Tuesday that the crew first identified the group by their flags, saying, “We were alerted to them by the flags that they actually had in addition to a large cross that they put out there for themselves.”

“Thanks to our aircrews diligently conducting routine patrols, we were able to spot people in distress and intervene,” Coast Guard Seventh District command duty officer Sean Connett said in a statement.

“This was a very complex operation involving asset and crews from different units, but thanks to good communication and coordination between command centers and pilots, we were able to safely get everyone to a medical facility before the situation could worsen.”

The Coast Guard undoubtedly deserves the praise and respect they’re receiving now, but this story is just one of thousands.

While considered a laughingstock by some, the Coast Guard is one of the most important branches of the United States military for maritime travelers. In 2018 alone, the USCG rescued nearly 4,000 people and assisted over 40,000.

And that’s nothing out of the ordinary.

According to search-and-rescue statistics from the Coast Guard website, at least 3,000 people were saved every year from 2000 to 2017. Some might disregard the Coast Guard as the military’s forgotten branch, but it’s undeniable the impact its servicemen and woman have had on thousands.

Thank God for the Coast Guard and for the U.S. military as a whole.

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