Sailors stranded on tiny Micronesian island saved by SOS sign in sand

The three men had embarked on Saturday on a 42 km trip from Poluwat to Pulap atolls, islands that are part of the Federated States of Micronesia.

An Australian Army ARH-90 Tiger Helicopter lands on Pikelot Island in the Federated States of Micronesia where three men were found safe and healthy after missing for three days, August 2, 2020. Picture taken August 2, 2020. (photo credit: AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE/REUTERS)
An Australian Army ARH-90 Tiger Helicopter lands on Pikelot Island in the Federated States of Micronesia where three men were found safe and healthy after missing for three days, August 2, 2020. Picture taken August 2, 2020.
(photo credit: AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE/REUTERS)
Three Micronesian sailors were rescued thanks to a big SOS sign in the sand, after being stranded on a tiny island in the western Pacific for three days, according to BBC.
The three men on Sunday embarkedon a 42 km (about 26 mi) trip from Poluwat to Pulap atolls, islands that are part of the Federated States of Micronesia. At some point during their trip, their seven-meter boat ran out of fuel and strayed 200km off course, reaching the tiny (half a kilometer long,) uninhabited and heavily forested Pikelot Island.
Once the sailors didn't reach their destination as planned, the Micronesian government turned to Australian authorities and to American forces at the nearby US territory of Guam and asked for their help in locating the missing sailors.
By writing an SOS sign on the sandy beach, the stranded men managed to draw the attention of an Australian helicopter that landed on the island and provided the men with food and water, while reportedly avoiding contact in order to prevent the sailors from possibly contracting coronavirus from the Australian personnel.
According to the Australian Defense Force (ADF,) three sailors were found in "good condition" with no visible major injuries.
Shortly after, a Micronesian patrol vessel reached the island and returned the sailors home.

Australian Army soldiers launch a zodiac inflatable boat from one of HMAS Canberra's Landing Craft to deliver food and supplies to three stranded mariners following a search and rescue mission, on Pikelot Island, Micronesia August 3, 2020. (photo credit: AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE/REUTERS)Australian Army soldiers launch a zodiac inflatable boat from one of HMAS Canberra's Landing Craft to deliver food and supplies to three stranded mariners following a search and rescue mission, on Pikelot Island, Micronesia August 3, 2020. (photo credit: AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE/REUTERS)

Cpt. Terry Morrison of the Australian Navy said in a statement: "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."
The Federated States of Micronesia consist of more than 600 small islands in the western Pacific, all scattered over a massive expanse of ocean, which often leads to cases of stranded travelers. In 2016, for example, a couple got stranded on the uninhabited Micronesian island of East Fayu for a week. They, too, wrote a big SOS sign in the sand and were eventually found by the US navy.