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When you're cast away on an uninhabited island, surrounded by thousands of kilometres of featureless ocean, don't despair: Rescue might not be as hopeless as you think.

Castaways write 'SOS' in sand, are rescued


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Saturday, August 27, 2016, 5:26 PM - When you're cast away on an uninhabited island, surrounded by thousands of kilometres of featureless ocean, don't despair: Rescue might not be as hopeless as you think.

So it was with Linus and Sabina Jack, who went missing after their boat left Weno Island in the Federated States of Micronesia. The BBC reports the couple had few supplies and no emergency equipment when their boat fetched up on East Fayo Island, but what they did have was lots of pristine beach to work with.

The Jacks wrote "SOS" in the sand large enough to be seen from the air. Sure enough, a helicopter searching the area spotted the sign, after a nearby ship reported someone trying to signal them with a flashlight.

The BBC reports the search for the missing couple involved 15 boats and two aircraft, and covered an area of more than 40,000 square kilometres. 

The couple were fortunate to have been found, given the sheer size of the archipelago, but they're not the first to have attracted help by spelling out an SOS. In fact, they wouldn't even be the first this year.

In April, three men were left in an even more bleak situation when a wave swamped their boat, forcing them to swim three kilometres, at night, to nearby Fanadik Island, which was similarly unihabited.

They spelled out "help" with palm fronds, and their message was spotted by a U.S. Navy plane searching for them. They had been missing for three days.

SOURCE: BBC News

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