First News

SOS SUC­CESS!

- Pacific Ocean · Iceland · Australian Army · Micronesia

WE prom­ise we’re not mak­ing this up, but three sailors who were stranded on a desert is­land were res­cued af­ter dig­ging a big ‘SOS’ mes­sage in the sand.

In case you don’t be­lieve us, and think we’ve been read­ing too many books, look – we’ve even got a pic­ture.

The three Mi­crone­sian men were miss­ing for three days, af­ter their small boat ran out of fuel and drifted 190km off course while sail­ing the 42km be­tween the atolls (ring-shaped co­ral reefs) of Pu­lawat to Pu­lap. Mi­crone­sia is made up of thou­sands of small is­lands and atolls in the Pa­cific Ocean.

Af­ter the men’s mes­sage was spot­ted in the sand on Pikelot Is­land, an Australian army he­li­copter landed to de­liver food and water and check the men were okay. Then a ship was sent to pick the men and their boat up.

Al­though a lot of peo­ple think that SOS stands for ‘save our souls’, it doesn’t ac­tu­ally stand for any­thing. A se­quence of three dots fol­lowed by three dashes and an­other three dots was cho­sen as the stan­dard in­ter­na­tional dis­tress sig­nal, but be­cause the let­ter S in Morse code is three dots, and three dashes is the let­ter O, it came to be known as an SOS.

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