GI­ANT SOS IN SAND LEADS TO RES­CUE OF STRANDED SAILORS

National Post (National Edition) - - NEWS -

Three Mi­crone­sian sailors stranded on a re­mote Pa­cific is­land drew a gi­ant SOS mes­sage in the sand to at­tract the attention of res­cuers, who found them three days after they went miss­ing at sea. Aus­tralian and U.S. air­craft lo­cated the men on tiny Pikelot is­land, about 200 km west of where they had set off in a seven-me­tre skiff be­fore veer­ing off course and run­ning out of fuel. “I am proud of the re­sponse and pro­fes­sion­al­ism of all on board,” the Aus­tralian Navy’s Capt. Terry Mor­ri­son said. Mor­ri­son com­mands the HMAS Can­berra, which sent a he­li­copter to the res­cue after of­fi­cials in the U.S. ter­ri­tory of Guam raised the alarm, following the men’s fail­ure to com­plete a 42-km trip be­tween Pa­cific atolls. The he­li­copter landed on the is­land on Sun­day to check the men’s con­di­tion and gave them food and wa­ter after its crew spot­ted their ap­peal for help. A Mi­crone­sian pa­trol ves­sel is headed to the is­land to pick up the men, the state­ment added. Pikelot is a low coral islet, with for­est and scrub, that is home to a seabird rook­ery and tur­tle nest­ing site.

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