Three men rescued from small Pacific island after writing SOS in sand

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An Australian Army ARH-90 Tiger helicopter lands on Pikelot Island in the Federated States of Micronesia where three missing men were found unharmed on August 2, 2020.

AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE / Reuters

Three men were rescued from a small Pacific island after writing a giant SOS sign in the sand which was spotted from above, authorities said.

The men had been missing in the Micronesian archipelago for nearly three days when their distress signal was spotted on the uninhabited island of Pikelot on Sunday by researchers aboard Australian and US planes, the Australian department said on Monday. of the defense.

The men had apparently departed from Pulawat Atoll in a 7-meter (23-foot) boat on July 30 and intended to travel approximately 43 kilometers (27 miles) to Pulap Atoll when they arrived. left their course and ran out of fuel, the department said.

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Guam researchers have asked Australia for help. The military ship, Canberra, which was returning to Australia after exercises in Hawaii, has turned to the region and joined with American researchers in Guam.

The men were found approximately 190 kilometers (118 miles) from their place of departure.

“I am proud of the response and professionalism of all on board as we fulfill our obligation to contribute to the safety of life at sea wherever we are in the world,” said the Commander of Canberra, the Captain Terry Morrison, in a statement.

The men were found in good condition and an Australian military helicopter was able to land on the beach and provide them with food and water. A Micronesian patroller was to recover them.

SOS is an internationally recognized distress signal that originates from Morse code.

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