76°F
weather icon Clear

Message received: 3 men rescued after writing SOS in sand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Three men have been rescued from a tiny Pacific island after writing a giant SOS sign in the sand that was spotted from above, authorities say.

The men had been missing in the Micronesia archipelago for nearly three days when their distress signal was spotted Sunday on uninhabited Pikelot Island by searchers on Australian and U.S. aircraft, the Australian defense department said Monday.

The men had apparently set out from Pulawat atoll in a 7-meter (23-foot) boat on July 30 and had intended to travel about 43 kilometers (27 miles) to Pulap atoll when they sailed off course and ran out of fuel, the department said.

Searchers in Guam asked for Australian help. The military ship, Canberra, which was returning to Australia from exercises in Hawaii, diverted to the area and joined forces with U.S. searchers from Guam.

The men were found about 190 kilometers (118 miles) from where they had set out.

“I am proud of the response and professionalism of all on board as we fulfill our obligation to contribute to the safety of life at sea wherever we are in the world,” said the Canberra’s commanding officer, Capt. Terry Morrison, in a statement.

The men were found in good condition, and an Australian military helicopter was able to land on the beach and give them food and water. A Micronesian patrol vessel was due to pick them up.

SOS is an internationally recognized distress signal that originates from Morse code.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
 
Louisville protest results in at least 2 police officers shot

Hours after a Kentucky grand jury brought no charges against Louisville police for Breonna Taylor’s death, authorities said two officers were shot and wounded Wednesday night.

 
Vice President Mike Pence’s jet lands safely after hitting bird

Vice President Mike Pence’s airplane struck a bird Tuesday on takeoff in New Hampshire, causing the pilot to return to the airport out of caution, the White House said.

‘Unfathomable’: US death toll from COVID-19 hits 200K

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus topped 200,000 Tuesday, a figure unimaginable eight months ago when the scourge first reached the world’s richest nation.

Sources: Woman accused of sending ricin letter arrested

A woman suspected of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin, which was addressed to White House, has been arrested at the New York-Canada border, three law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Sunday.

California desert towns told to evacuate as winds stoke flames

Strong winds stoked a wildfire burning for nearly two weeks in mountains northeast of Los Angeles, prompting authorities to issue new evacuation orders for desert communities that lost some homes a day earlier.

4.5 earthquake shakes Southern California

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake struck Southern California late Friday night, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.