Three men have been rescued from a tiny island in Micronesia after their SOS message on a beach was spotted by Australian authorities.
The sailors had been missing for almost three days when they were found on August 2, after their seven-metre vessel sailed off course and ran out of fuel.
Their SOS message was spotted after the men were reported missing by Guam authorities on August 1.
The men were reportedly making a 23-nautical mile journey from the Pulawat to Pulap atolls on July 30 when they became stranded on Pikelot Island in Micronesia, 190 kilometres west of where they had set off on July 30.
What a cracking seafaring survival tale 🌊 Australia’s HMAS Canberra, recently on exercise in the South China Sea, helped rescue 3 sailors marooned on a pacific island in Micronesia. ADF helicopter crew spotted the SOS in the sand. pic.twitter.com/jajayQ0eSv
— Siobhan Heanue (@siobhanheanue) August 3, 2020
All were all found in “good condition”, the Australian Defence Force said.
An army reconnaissance helicopter landed on the beach, delivered food and water, confirmed the men’s identities and checked they had no major injuries.
HMAS Canberra, which was on its way to Hawaii for naval exercises, located the men with the help of a US aircraft operating out of Guam.
The vessel’s commanding officer, Captain Terry Morrison, said the response was outstanding.
“The ship’s company responded to the call and had the ship quickly prepared to support the search and rescue,” Captain Morrison said.
“I am proud of the response and professionalism of all on board as we fulfil our obligation to contribute to the safety of life at sea wherever we are in the world.”
A Micronesian patrol vessel, FSS Independence, is on its way to the island to pick up the men.