A month on a Bahamian island could be the stuff of dreams for some, but for three people their 33-day ordeal has finally come to an end thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard announced this week that a crew from Air Station Clearwater saved three Cuban nationals who had become stranded on the uninhabited island Anguilla Cay, WPLG reported.
The area is an island chain between the Florida Keys and Cuba, NBC News reported.
The MH-60 helicopter crew spotted the group on Monday while on a routine patrol around the area. They noticed a makeshift flag that the people had been waving. The Coast Guard members also saw a cross the people had constructed.
The crew dropped water, food and a radio to the stranded people but were not able to rescue them at the time because of bad weather. They had to return Tuesday to pluck them from the island, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Lt. Justin Dougherty said the three people had been stranded for over a month after their boat capsized in rough seas. The trio swam to the island, WPLG reported.
They survived by eating conchs and rats.
“That is pretty extraordinary. It was incredible,” Dougherty told WPLG. “I don’t know how they did it. I am amazed that they were in such good shape.”
They did appear dehydrated and fatigued, aircraft commander Mike Allert told ABC News. There was no fresh water on the island.
They were flown to the Lower Keys Medical Center for treatment.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Murray told the Sun-Sentinel he was not sure if the people were migrants trying to get to the U.S. or if they were fishermen lost at sea.