‘Gilligan’s Island’: One Actor Said Coast Guard Was Once Called to Find the Seven Castaways

by Matthew Wilson

One of the recurring plots of “Gilligan’s Island” is the castaways never got rescued. But that was almost a different case in real life. Series star Dawn Wells once revealed that someone called the Coast Guard during production.

During a 2016 interview, Wells revealed that overexcited fans kept messaging the Coast Guard about the castaways. Once, several members of the Coast Guard arrived on set during production of “Gilligan’s Island.” They talked with the creator of the show and also some of the cast members. The Coast Guard revealed they began receiving telegrams about the show.

“We were probably in production for four or five weeks and Sherwood came in with the Coast Guard. Six or seven big mucky-mucks from the Coast Guard,” Wells told the outlet. “And we stopped filming for a minute or so. And he said ‘The Coast Guard has something to say to you all.’ And I don’t know what the ranks are in the Coast Guard, but the guy said, ‘We have received several telegrams saying there are seven people stranded in the Pacific Ocean. Why can’t you find them?’ Some people believe everything!”

The Castaways and ‘Gilligan’s Island’

“Gilligan’s Island” depended upon the castaways staying on their new island home. For that reason, the castaways never actually made it home during the original series run. The show featured various guest stars that visited the island. But somehow, the castaways always managed to run the guest stars off without getting rescued themselves. Of course, similar to “M*A*S*H” and the Korean War, if the castaways ever went home, the show would have probably ended.

So sadly for many viewers, “Gilligan’s Island” got canceled after its third season. The show ended very similarly to how it began with the seven castaways lost somewhere in the Pacific. The characters on the show would have welcomed the sight of the Coast Guard coming to rescue them.

Instead, Gilligan and the gang weren’t rescued for almost another decade in real life. The show spawned a TV movie “Rescue From Gilligan’s Island” in the 1970s. That movie featured what many fans thought was impossible. The castaways left the island and got to return home. Of course, after being gone so long, the castaways struggled to return to their previous lives.

In a strange twist of fate that movie reestablished the norms by the end much to the frustration of both viewers and the skipper. The movie ends with the castaways accidentally marooned on the same island that they left.