GIANT SOS IN SAND LEADS TO RESCUE OF STRANDED SAILORS
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.