Missing sailors found on tiny Pacific Island after writing SOS in the sand

Australian and US military forces have come to the rescue of three missing sailors on a tiny Pacific island after they wrote a large SOS in the sand.


The SOS message was spotted from the air by Australian and US aircraft during the search. Source: AAP

Three missing sailors have been found on a tiny island in the western Pacific after they wrote an outsized SOS in the sand that was spotted from the air, according to a statement by Australia's Defence Ministry.

The men were found on Sunday after they had been missing for three days and media reports say they are in good health.

Their call for help, written on the beach of Pikelot Island, 190 kilometres west of where they had set out, was seen by Australian and US aircraft, the statement said.

Australian naval officers walk next to the HMAS Canberra.
Source: AAP

A ship, the HMAS Canberra, headed to the sailors' aid and a helicopter landed on the beach, bringing water and food for the men and carrying out identity and health checks.

The men were reportedly sailing between the atolls Poluwat and Pulap, a journey of 42 kilometres, when they veered off course and ran out of fuel.

Pikelot Island, which is only 450 metres long, is part of the Caroline Islands, a scattered archipelago in the western Pacific.

A Micronesian patrol vessel, FSS Independence, is heading to the island to pick up the men.

Published 4 August 2020 at 5:38am, updated 4 August 2020 at 6:26am
Source: AAP -SBS