Feb. 10, 2021 —
The Coast Guard rescued three Cuban nationals this week who reportedly survived on coconuts after being stranded on a deserted island for 33 days.
While on routine patrol Monday, a Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry spotted three people waving a makeshift flag on Anguilla Cay, Bahamas.
VIDEO #1: The aircrew dropped them food, water and a radio to establish communications while a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 helicopter crew deployed to the scene.
VIDEO #2: The helicopter crew hoisted the two men and one woman and transferred them to Lower Keys Medical Center with no reported injuries.
"Thanks to our aircrews diligently conducting routine patrols, we were able to spot people in distress and intervene," said Sean Connett, command duty officer at Coast Guard Seventh District. "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 group told the rescue crew they swam to the deserted island after their boat capsized in rough waters, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Murray called the group's survival a miracle.
“I cannot recall a time that we saved people who were stranded for over a month on an island,” he told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “That is a new one for me.”