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Friday, April 15, 2016

Castaways

4 guys were stranded on a tiny island when their skiff capsized.

They were rescued after they were spotted by the crew of a US Navy P-8 Poseidon. The Poseidon started showing up at US air bases in 2012. It is the replacement for the aging P-3 Orion.


The Poseidon is a militarized version of a 737. It has a bomb bay that can carry torpedoes and hard points on the wings for carrying missiles. The Australian Air Force has a good description.
There are no airstrips on any of the islands of the atoll where our castaways were stranded. They either got there by crossing 60 miles of ocean in a boat, or they flew in on a seaplane.

The atoll where they were stranded is 2,000 miles from anywhere, except Papua New Guinea. I'm not sure that helps.

The atoll is 8 miles long. The island where they were stranded is the one on the middle left.

The red markers indicate our target atoll. The yellow ones are the nearest airstrips. The green is a lagoon where a seaplane could land. The orange marker is the nearest real, jet capable airport. It's 170 miles away.
So I am sort of wondering how these guys got to this atoll, what they were doing there, where did the P-8 come from, how long did it take to get 'on station' and once they got there, how long did it take before they found our castaways?
More about flying boats in the South Pacific here.
More about the Albatross here.
Map of South Pacific airports here.
P-3 mentioned here.

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