SOS message on Micronesian beach saves three stranded men after being spotted by Australian authorities
Three men who went missing have been rescued from a tiny Pacific island after writing a giant SOS sign in the sand that was spotted from above, authorities say.
The men were missing in the Micronesia archipelago east of the Philippines for nearly three days before their distress signal was spotted by searchers on Australian and U.S. aircraft, the Australian defense department said.
The men had set out from Pulawat atoll in a 7-meter (23-foot) boat on July 30 and had intended to travel about 43 kilometers (27 miles) to Pulap atoll when they sailed off course and ran out of fuel, the department said.
Searchers in Guam reportedly asked for Australian help and the military ship, Canberra, which was returning to Australia from exercises in Hawaii, diverted to the area and joined forces with U.S. searchers from Guam.
The men were reportedly found about 190 kilometers (118 miles) from where they had set out
According to ABC News, the men were found in good condition, and an Australian military helicopter was able to land on the beach. They gave the men food and water before the Micronesian patrol vessel then pick them up.
SOS is a Morse code distress signal, used internationally, and was originally established for maritime use.