Stranded sailors rescued from uninhabited island after SOS signal spotted in sand

by Bryan Brammer · Aug 4th, 2020 2:46 pm

Twitter / @DeptDefence

Last Updated Aug 6th, 2020 at 10:20 am

Three men stranded on a small uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean were rescued Sunday after a U.S. Air Force plane spotted a giant SOS signal the sailors had written in the sand.

On Thursday, the three-person crew set sail from Pulawat atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia — a cluster of about 600 islands near the Philippines. They planned to travel approximately 27 miles to Pulap atoll when they sailed off course and ran out of fuel, the Australian Department of Defense said in a statement.

After the men had been missing for two days, the Rescue and Coordination Center in Guam requested search support from the Australian Defense Force. U.S. aircraft also assisted in the search and rescue efforts.

The men were found in good health on Pikelot Island about 118 miles from where they had set out. An Australian Army helicopter was able to land on the beach and give them food and water, and a Micronesian patrol vessel was due to pick them up.


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