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Micronesia, Aug 5 (Canadian-Media): A giant SOS message was drawn in the sand by three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island to attract the attention of rescuers, who found them three days after they went missing at sea, media reports said.
Royal Australian Navy. Image credit: Twitter handle
The men were located by Australian and U.S. aircraft on tiny Pikelot Island, about 200 kilometres west of where they had set off before they ran out of fuel.
"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," the Australian Navy's Capt. Terry Morrison said in a defence department statement.
After officials in the U.S. territory of Guam raised the alarm, following the men's failure to complete a 42-kilometre trip between Pacific atolls, Morrison, the commander of the HMAS Canberra sent a helicopter to the rescue.
After the crew spotted their appeal for help, close to their makeshift shelter, the helicopter landed on the island on Sunday and checked the men's condition and gave them food and water.
A Micronesian patrol vessel has proceeded towards the island to pick up the men, the statement added.
Pikelot is a low coral islet, home to a seabird rookery and turtle nesting site, with forest and scrub.
More than 600 small islands scattered across the ocean in the western Pacific are part of the Federated States of Micronesia.