Beach SOS saves sailors stranded on tiny island


Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a tiny, remote island in the western Pacific have been saved after rescuers spotted their SOS message on a beach.

The men were found on Pikelot Island in Micronesia by Australian and US military aircraft on Sunday, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) said.

They had been missing for three days after their 7m (23ft) skiff ran out of fuel and strayed far off course.

All were found in a “good condition” with no significant injuries, the ADF said.
Authorities in Guam, a nearby US territory, initiated the search on Saturday after the men failed to complete a 42km (26 miles) trip from Pulawat to Pulap atolls.
Instead, their vessel ended up at Pikelot Island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off.
After their SOS was spotted from the air, an Australian helicopter landed on the tiny island and gave the men food and water.

The helicopter came from the HMAS Canberra, which had been on its way to Hawaii for naval exercises when it was called to help in the search.
The sailors were to be taken home by a Micronesian patrol vessel, Australian officials said.
Micronesia, in the western Pacific, consists of some 600 tiny islands scattered over a vast ocean expanse.